From the Editor

This month we bring you news and resources about reconstructive plastic surgery, with a focus on skin. Reconstructive surgery is a field in which technologies are constantly changing and improving. You’ll find some news stories and videos below, plus our all-new crossword puzzle about skin anatomy and skin graft surgery.

Our student in the spotlight is Melanie Frye, MS, NP-C, of Houston, TX. And scroll on down for the latest RNFA job offerings and NIFA’s favorite links.



Julie Lancaster, Editor


Using Tissue Expanders in Face and Neck Reconstruction

Face and neck reconstruction are among the most challenging of cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. Earlier this year, the World Journal of Plastic Surgery presented the results of a study examining the use of tissue expanders in reconstructive surgery of extensive face and neck burning scars. (A tissue expander is a balloon-like device inserted under the skin near the area to be repaired and then gradually filled with salt water over time, causing the skin to stretch and grow.) Read the report.

Bioprinting Technology in Reconstructive Surgery

Two stories from the continually amazing world of 3D bioprinting:

Engineers at Swansea University in Wales have developed a biodegradable tissue scaffold that can be used in the form of either a liquid biopolymer or a filament derivative. “Protein growth factors are . . . saturated into the porous scaffold to turn it into a biologically attractive composite,” writes the author, Debbie Williams. Read the article: Novel Material ‘Celleron’ Could Revolutionize 3D Bioprinting for Regenerative Medicine.    
A French company, Poietis, is working on developing living tissue – cell layer by cell layer – using a 3D laser printer to apply cells and biomaterial instead of paper and ink. “This process is called 4D bioprinting since it utilizes a fourth dimension: time,” states author Thomas Klein. “Once tissue is printed, the cells need time to communicate and self-assemble.” Read the article: New Bioprinting Technology Enables Custom-Made Tissue for Clinical Applications.

When Surgeons Listen to their Preferred Music, Their Closures Are Better and Faster

A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston shows that when plastic surgeons listen to music they prefer, their surgical technique and efficiency when closing incisions is improved.  Read a Science Daily Summary of the report here…or the full study as it appeared in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

And–not specifically related to plastic surgery, but interesting–see this Huffington Post article on the overall benefits of music in the OR.


From the Burn Center at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center, Burns 101  describes operative skin excision and grafting as part of an overall introduction to burn treatment. Designed for residents, emergency room physicians, and other practitioners caring for burn patients at facilities without a dedicated regional burn center, Burns 101 offers quick, concise treatment guidelines and referral criteria.  Watch now…

Perioperative Puzzle:

Find out how thorough your knowledge really is about skin anatomy and reconstructive surgery with this month’s crossword puzzle.

When you’re ready to check your answers follow this link to see how well you did. Good luck!

Skin Graft Surgery Game 

The prompts in this online game teach you about tools and procedure used in a skin graft surgery. Appropriate for young adult or adult (beginner) students.Click here to play.

In the Spotlight

Edited Melanie Frye w borderName:  Melanie Frye

Credentials:  MS, APRN/NP-C

Student Status: Current NIFA RNFA student

City and State: Houston, TX

Current Job:  NP-Plastic Surgery

Where did you get your degrees?
University of Texas – Houston Health Science Center – BSN; Texas Woman’s University – Houston Campus – MS.

Why did you choose perioperative nursing? I have worked in a variety of different settings, and I realized that I love the skills and atmosphere involved in perioperative nursing. I am always busy and intellectually stimulated in the OR and I appreciate contributing to an optimal surgical result.

What is the funniest or scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table? Funniest – me trying to figure out how to suture in a circle before NIFA. Scariest – a conscious sedation patient becoming too sedated.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life? Use your non-dominant hand instead of forceps to follow yourself during a running locking stitch.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I feel much more confident in going into the OR and feel like this knowledge gives me the much-needed skills and education to become a more well-rounded surgical NP.

Job Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA Office Hours

Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm (Fridays 7:30am – 4:00pm).

Practice Resources
Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:ACS Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More