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Normal anatomy:

The skin covers the entire body, and acts as a protective barrier. Skin grafts may be recommended for:

  • extensive wounds
  • burns
  • specific surgeries that may require skin grafts for healing to occur.

The most common sites of harvest for skin grafts are the buttocks and inner thigh, areas which are usually hidden and therefore cosmetically less important.


Normal anatomy


Incision:

While the patient is awake, sleepy (sedated), or deep asleep and pain-free (local anesthesia or general anesthesia), healthy skin is taken from the selected donor site on the patient's body using a dermatome (skin-cutting instrument).


Incision


Procedure:

The graft is carefully spread on the bare area to be covered. It is held in place either by gentle pressure from a well-padded dressing or by a few small stitches. The raw donor area is covered with a sterile nonadherent dressing for 5-7 days to protect it from infection. The donor area heals on its own within 2-3 weeks.


Procedure


Aftercare:

Skin grafts usually heal with little scarring, and often look similar to surrounding normal skin.


Aftercare



Review Date: 5/3/2007
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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