Autoplasty

A surgical repair or reconstruction procedure where tissues are grafted from the patient’s own body is referred to as Autoplasty. The process in which the donor material is taken from the body of the patient is known as an “autograft”. In contrast, allograft is a process which makes use of donor tissue from the body of another individual. Many factors contribute in making autoplasty an appealing treatment option among the patients.

Autoplasty procedure decreases the risk of rejection by a patient’s body. Although the patient’s body, neither treats the tissue as an alien nor attacks it, but the healing procedure may include some problems. Most of the surgeons prefer autoplasty because it involves fresh donor tissue of correct size and shape. The risk of the transmission of disease is eliminated in this procedure. Prior to the procedure, the donor tissue is carefully screened for any signs of problems. However, occasionally, the diseases can slip through the screening test.

One classic example where autoplasty procedure is used is in the skin repair during burn injury. Sometimes, a surgeon may insert an inflatable balloon under the skin and gradually inflates it. This is done to cultivate skin on the patient and encourage the body of the patient to produce more skin for grafting process. Gum grafting is another common use for autoplasty. In this procedure, the receding gums are addressed using donor material taken from anywhere in the mouth. Autoplasty can also make use of tendons, muscle tissue, bone, and other such materials from the patient’s body.

Two different surgical sites, one for the donor tissue, and other for the site of the repair or reconstruction, are made to prolong the healing period. However, some of the risks such as infection and rejection, associated with such injuries, are minimized with autografts.

Prior to autoplasty, the surgeon will give a clear description about the procedure to the patient. The description includes the duration of the surgery, location from where the graft is taken and post-operative precautions. 

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