How the full thickness skin graft works

Skin graft Milton KeynesA lot of the procedures we do here at SJG Plastic Surgery in Milton Keynes involve enhancing what people already have, but one of our most important services involves skin grafts. Wanting to get rid of the signs of ageing is one thing: wanting to get rid of a disfigurement is another. Here’s a brief guide to what we can do to restore your natural look…

What’s the difference between a full thickness skin graft and a split-thickness skin graft?

A split thickness skin graft involves the shaving of a thin sheet of skin a fraction of a millimetre thick – usually from the thigh, buttock or upper arm – while a full thickness graft is usually between 2 and 4 millimetres thick. While the split thickness graft sounds more suitable for smaller wounds, the opposite is the case: the full thickness graft is best deployed for smaller, deeper wounds on the head, face, neck and hands, such as those left by the removal of skin cancers, moles, surgical wounds, ulcers and burns wounds.

Where is the skin graft taken from?

A full thickness graft is usually sourced from a part of the body where skin can be removed without scarring and looks as similar as possible to the part of the body where it will be transplanted – obviously without hair follicles, if they’re not needed in the transplant area. Areas considered most suitable for a full thickness skin graft include – but are not limited to – the front and back of the ear, upper eyelid, scalp, above the collarbone, the upper and inner arm, or the groin.

What happens after the procedure?

It depends upon where the graft has been placed. It’s vitally important that the graft is kept in place during the first week, so the skin can connect with the blood supply and mesh to the rest of the skin. They can be held in place with stitches, or medical-grade glue, or dressings. You’ll be required to take precautions to aid this process, such as not bathing the area for at least a week, or avoiding stress to the treated area.

For more information on skin grafts in Milton Keynes, please contact us

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