Stencils are used to plan grafts and flaps. Sterilised paper present in the plastic-surgical instrument tray, gauze, foil from a suture pack or foam may be used for this purpose. The material is pressed on to the surgical defect to take a print of the bleeding wound, and has then to be inverted before it is cut and transferred to the donor area.
We use a portion of a sterilised glove cut slightly bigger than the proposed flap. One end is laid on the tissue defect and the other end on the pedicle of the proposed flap. Unlike the materials described above, the glove rubber is not opaque. The precise defect can be traced on the glove with a marking pen because the defect can be seen through the rubber (Fig. 1) ; the marking is continued to plan the whole flap on the glove. The marked portion of the glove is now cut accurately and rotated onto the proposed donor area; the flap is marked on the skin accordingly (Fig. 2) .
The rubber of a glove used as a stencil is transparent, easy to use because of its pliability and availability and is a cheap alternative to some of the presently used materials.
© 2003 Published by Elsevier Inc.