Clinical Experience with a Human Skin Equivalent for the Treatment of Venous Leg Ulcers: Process and Outcomes

Robert Kirsner, Vincent Falanga, David Fivenson, Kerry Thibodeaux, Joseph Cavorsi, Daniel De La Pava, Harold Brem, Cynthia A. Golomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Venous leg ulcers that have been present for a long period of time pose a substantial management challenge for clinicians. In this population, traditional treatment options (compression therapy, skin grafting) have been either ineffective or associated with several drawbacks. The advent of tissue-engineered skin represents an important development in the management of hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers. Patients treated with tissue-engineered skin have achieved more frequent and more rapid closure of ulcers than with standard compression therapy. The first of these tissue-engineered products available to clinicians is a human bilayered living skin construct*. Here we present our collective clinical experience with the use of this human skin equivalent (HSE) for the treatment of venous leg ulcers. To ensure that optimal outcomes are achieved with the use the HSE, we reviewed our experiences with current HSE techniques. Topics of discussion included appropriate patient selection, wound preparation, application procedure, bandaging and compression, follow up, healing expectations, and economic considerations. The benefits of HSE include substantial pain relief, rapid and complete closure of hard-to-heal ulcers that have not healed with standard compression therapy, and cost savings over standard therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical


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