AlloDerm is a dermal filler which is derived and processed from donated skin. The product has been available for more than 15 years in the treatment of burn in plastic surgery patients requiring tissue augmentation. Because the product is derived from other humans, all potential donors are screened for HIV and hepatitis. Second, the product is processed in such a way so as to kill any possible viruses in the tissues.
Unlike other dermal fillers, alloderm is only available in 1-2 mm thick sheets. The sheets can not be injected and have to implanted by making surgical incisions.
In all cases, some type of anesthesia is required to insert alloderm
The alloderm is soaked in a saline solution and trimmed according to the desired length. The alloderm is then rolled over and then inserted into the skin area. A few small incisions may be required for correct placement of alloderm. The alloderm is then sutured down to the tissues to prevent migration.
AlloDerm provides collagen structure and proteins beneath the skin and also helps your body's own tissue re-grow. Once in place, the defunct tissue volume is augmented and the AlloDerm is integrated into the surrounding tissues.
Cymetra is a particle form of AlloDerm which can be injected. The material is first soaked in a solution of a local anesthetic and then injected.
Both AlloDerm and Cymetra are an outpatient procedure. Following the procedure, one needs to rest on the first day. No strenuous activities, heavy lifting aerobic exercises, or other sporting activities should be done for the next couple of days.
After the procedure, the treatment site may be feel a little hard and firm for a few days, but with time, the tissues will appear soft and natural.
The surgical area must be treated with care and all trauma to the area must be avoided. One must not squeeze or manipulate the injected dermal filler for at least a few weeks after the surgery.
Because the product is derived from humans, the probability of allergies is minimal and no prior skin testing is required.
Side effects of AlloDerm and Cymetra include:
- Infection at the site
- Reactivation of herpes simplex
- Transient bruising
- Swelling at the site
The product has been shown to have longer durability than collagen fillers and rejection has been almost nil
Both products last anywhere from 3-6 months
Advantages of Alloderm
- it is capable of potentiating regeneration of normal tissues
- does not have any allergic tendencies
- is a soft and pliable graft and can be used anywhere on the body
- lasts longer than most collagen fillers