WOUND reconstruction in small animal practice may be performed as part of a routine surgical procedure or in the management of a traumatic skin deficit. More recently, developments in oncologic surgery and the principle of achieving wide surgical margins have created a need for the reconstruction of large skin deficits. Whatever the aetiology of the wound, the basic principles of reconstruction apply. This article, divided into two parts, presents a practical approach to wound reconstruction. Part 1 discusses the surgical principles of reconstructive surgery of the skin. Careful management of the tissue and a thorough understanding of surgical pathology are important in order to gain the most from the surgical techniques described in Part 2, to be published in the next issue, which covers the management of large skin deficits.
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