Skin Graft/Flap*

Skin Graft Surgery

Skin graft surgery is frequently performed by plastic surgeons by using skin taken from one area of the body to restore skin coverage in other area(s).  Skin grafts help wounds heal that otherwise would not heal adequately.  Skin grafts are useful in situations where there is adequate subcutaneous tissues present to provide support and blood supply for the skin graft.

Skin grafts are generally classified as to the thickness of the skin that is being grafted from one part of the body to some other region.  A “split-thickness” skin graft does not comprise the entire thickness of skin.  The donor area where the split-thickness graft is taken can heal on its own.  Large areas of the body can be used for split-thickness skin grafts.  The “full thickness” skin graft is different as it involves the full thickness of skin and deeper tissues.  Full-thickness grafts tend to be used for specific wound coverage applications when thicker skin is needed.  The donor area for the full thickness graft is limited in size as full-thickness skin graft donor sites cannot be used more than one time.

Skin grafts are an effective means of assisting wound healing when there has been a loss of skin due to conditions that involve disease, injuries including burns, or surgical removal of tumors.  Some wounds may be too complex to heal without other more involved reconstructive techniques.  In some situations, surgical procedures and other treatments (dressing changes and hydrotherapy) may be needed to prepare a wound for a skin graft.

Cutaneous (Skin) Flap

The cutaneous (skin) flap is commonly used for repair or reconstruction of an open wound or a soft tissue deficit.  It involves moving the skin (and potentially other soft tissues) from a donor site to the affected area.  The skin flap maintains its own blood supply.

 Skin Cancer Reconstruction

The surgical removal of skin cancer is a procedure frequently performed by plastic surgeons.  Because skin cancer will not disappear spontaneously, surgical removal is a treatment option.  There are many different techniques for removing skin cancers. Once your cancer is removed you will be left with an open wound that may require closure. Various surgical procedures may be involved in reconstruction after the skin cancer is removed. These include a local cutaneous/ local flap, skin grafting or more complicated reconstructive procedures determined by the extent of the defect created when removing your skin cancer. Your surgeon will review which surgical procedures may be required to close your wound and provide you with a functional result that is least disfiguring as reasonably possible. Sometimes more than one surgical procedure can be required to accomplish these goals.

*Disclaimer: Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Results Can Vary Significantly Between Patients. In terms of results and expectations, there are numerous variables with every patient, each surgery and every recovery and healing period. For more information click to read our full Disclaimer