If you’ve experienced burns, extensive injury, or a non-healing wound, then a skin graft may be necessary for your body to achieve complete physical restoration. A skin graft takes healthy skin from a donor site and is transplanted to another area of the body. Through stitches, staples, or special dressings, the graft is held in place until it takes and grows healthy skin on the new site. The donor site often comes from a location that is hidden beneath clothing, such as the buttocks or inner thigh.
The most common type of skin graft removes the top two layers of the skin, called a split-thickness graft; however, for more extensive grafts, the full thickness of the skin, which includes muscles and blood supply, is removed and grafted to the new place. For a full-thickness graft, the donor site is more frequently the chest wall, back, or abdominal wall.
Following the procedure, you will go through three to four weeks of rest so as not to stretch or injure the graft site. Often, the donor site heals in two to three weeks, but the graft site can take a bit longer. Also, if the graft doesn’t take, then there may be a need for a repeat procedure. Full recovery may take several months; however, with consistent moisturizing, your results will be long-lasting. Dr. Atchison will provide all the details necessary to determine if this procedure is right for you.