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Thread: Apligraf

  1. #1

    Apligraf

    Apligraf was suggested by a doctor at a wound care clinic. Anyone have any experience with it? http://www.apligraf.com/patient/what..._apligraf.html
    Daniel

  2. #2
    Apligraf is an "engineered" skin product. It is actually grown in tissue culture, with the original cells harvested from the foreskins of male infants who are circumcised. It is expensive...a piece of Apligraf that is the size of a quarter is about $1800. It must be kept frozen and thawed right before application. It can be applied in a clinic or outpatient setting, but the dressing over it must be left undisturbed for at least a week to be sure that the graft is undisturbed. It is an alternative to doing a STSG (split thickness skin graft) with your own skin, which would need to be harvested in the OR.

    Where is your wound? How deep is it? What other treatments have been used to try to close the wound? Apligraf is used a lot for covering diabetic foot ulcers and vascular wounds, but not used much for pressure ulcers. We don't use it much, as it does not "take" as well as your own tissue, and it is such a small piece of tissue as well, but in the right situation it may be the best treatment. I would discuss with the wound care provider how often they have used this for pressure ulcers, and how durable they think it will be for being able to sit on the area once it is closed (assuming your wound is on a sitting surface such as your ischium or sacrum).

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 09-28-2014 at 11:09 AM.

  3. #3
    The wound center here uses it for mostly diabetic leg ulcers but has used it on a few pressure sores. Part of the problem is that it is difficult to get reimbursement for non-diabetic ulcers. They sometimes take the left over pieces used for diabetic ulcers and use it on patients who do not have coverage. It comes in 75mm diameter pieces and is very expensive.
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  4. #4
    To follow up, I had two apligraf treatments and it was successful in shrinking the size of the wound on my dorsal foot.
    Daniel

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dan_nc View Post
    To follow up, I had two apligraf treatments and it was successful in shrinking the size of the wound on my dorsal foot.
    Great! Hope healing continues. Did you get insurance coverage? It would be helpful info for possible CC members in need in the future.
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  6. #6
    I'm sorry that I don't have very much more information, SCIfor55yrs.

    My general impression is that apligraf and grafix (from osiris therapeutics) are used frequently at this wound clinic but many of the patients are diabetic. I didn't see very much details on apligraf when I searched on the forum (there were a few posts: DavesMom, ryano, mistymeanor) and the outcomes were varied.

    The wound was on my foot, and therefore not on my body where I'd be sitting on applying a lot of pressure. I had tried silver and collagen previously, without any improvement. I will say that I did not see much with the first application (1 wk), although the doc and nurses said that there was a lot of improvement. The second application (1 wk) I saw a ton of improvement in granulation and healing. I am impressed at the results.
    Daniel

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Thanks for this Dan, I think I will ask my doc about this. Do you have problems with swelling in the foot?
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