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Skin Graft
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Skin Graft?

A skin graft surgery is the removal and transplantation of healthy skin from one area of the body to another area. It is done to replace the skin in an area where the skin has been damaged. The source sites most commonly used for skin grafts are the inner thigh, buttocks, below the collar bone, in front of and behind the ear, and the upper arm.

The use of your own skin as the source area is called an autograft. If there is not enough skin on the body to provide graft coverage, skin may be harvested from outside sources. These alternate sources are only meant for temporary use until your own skin grows back. Three common options are: * Allograft—skin taken from another human source, such as a cadaver * Xenograft—skin taken from an animal source * Synthetic tissue

  • To promote healing of:
  • Large burns
  • Wounds
  • Venous ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
  • Diabetic ulcers

A successful skin graft will result in transplanted skin adhering and growing into the recipient area. Cosmetic results may vary, based on factors such as the type of skin graft used and the recipient site.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a skin graft, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Graft failure
  • Infection at either the donor or recipient site
  • Poor healing
  • Increased or decreased sensation at the recipient site
  • Hair may not grow on recipient site
  • Graft tissue of contracts, interfering with limb movement

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Age: newborns and infants, or 60 or older
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Poor overall health
  • Use of certain medicines

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain,...