The Little Prince is a project aimed at helping children with esthetic defects that have developed as a result of burns, wounds, ulcers, or neurologic disorders.

Remember a drawing by the Little Prince in Saint-Exupery’s book, a boa constrictor with an elephant inside? It is a good illustration of the technique used at our hospital to help such patients: implantation of endoexpanders. To increase the efficiency of this technique, a drug named Lantox is needed. Presently it is not yet provided by the state budget.

So, our new project “The Little Prince” is aimed at promoting the use of Botulotoxin type A (Lantox) at the Department of Microvascular Surgery, Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital (this department is headed by Dr. Alexander V. Bystrov). Presently this drug is successfully used in plastic and esthetic surgery, as well as neurology.

Within this project, our foundation is planning to buy the required amount of the drug.

The planned number of participants is 30 children per year.

The required financial assistance is 1,000,000 roubles (approximately $33,900) per year.

Lantox will be mainly used in implantation of endoexpanders and in tissue dermotension operations in order to significantly improve skin elasticity and extensibility in children, to achieve maximum size of donor areas, to get rid of the pain syndrome during tissue expansion and to shorten the duration of in-patient treatment.

Lantox is sometimes also needed to correct facial asymmetry in children with facial nerve defects, to get rid of muscular spasticity and pain syndromes of various etiology.

We will demonstrate the results of the children’s treatment in a table entitled “Before and After”. The first results will be shown in 6 months.

What is an endoexpander?

An endoexpander consists of an elastic bioinert latex balloon connected by a tube to an injection unit. An endoexpander is implanted near the damaged skin area, either subcutaneously or subfascially. After that, a sterile fluid is periodically (2-3 times per week) added to the balloon through the injection unit, increasing the volume of the endoexpander. Owing to resultant skin extension, compensatory mechanisms are activated, and skin growth starts. Depending on the size of the zone, such treatment is carried out for one or two months. The amount of extra skin thus created makes it possible to replace the damaged skin over a scar or burn. The advantage of this method in comparison with skin grafting or engraftment of artificial skin is mostly esthetic. Some other person’s skin (or even the patient’s own skin but from another part of the body) usually has a different color and different pattern of hair growth. Besides, the use of expanders hs virtually no contraindications; they can be used even in one-year-old children.

 

Before After

 

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