Harvesting healthy tissue has often been an invasive, painful procedure.

The loss of healthy tissue is an issue for many individuals – when diabetic ulcers undergo a wound infection such as gangrene, healthy tissue to surgically replace the dead or infected tissue can result in a lengthy process.

However, as with many diabetic and wound care technologies, increasingly noninvasive methods are being created and adapted. In 2013, Kinetic Concepts Inc. launched one of the most precise tools for collecting tissues on the market: CelluTome.

How does CelluTome Work?

Officially named the CelluTome Epidermal Harvesting System, the tool allows clinicians and other medical personnel to harvest healthy epidermal skin tissue without damage to the donor site.

CelluTome uses heat and a slight vacuum pressure to collect a very thin layer of tissue, with the use of regulated pressure that is monitored by the clinician.

Because CelluTome is so precise, it can collect skin at the DE junction, which means much less tissue is disturbed and the patient will feel less pain. The patient will also have less scarring at the harvest site.

What will happen during the procedure?

Patients will have the tissue harvesting area cleaned and removed of any hair – usually, the best harvesting area is the upper thigh. The strap and vacuum connector are then placed on the skin, and the CelluTome is set for between 30 and 45 minutes, the amount of time it takes for the machine to collect the appropriate amount of tissue. The clinician can watch the progress of the harvesting while it takes place, and turn off the machine when it has collected enough tissue.

After the tissue is collected, the adhesive dressing is placed on top of the collection site, and the harvested skin is then removed. The donor site is then set up with the appropriate wound dressings for care – which is often minimal – for recovery after the procedure.

“The beauty of this new tool is that it provides a skin graft without damaging the donor site,” explained Kinetic Concepts Inc. president Joe Woody. “This means the whole process can take place in an outpatient setting, which truly transforms the way physicians have traditionally used skin grafting.”

While this relatively new technology may not work for all patients, the CelluTome may provide cleaner, less painful results for your wound infection treatment.