What’s a skin graft? Skin grafting is a surgical process that includes removing skin from one area of the body and transferring it to a special space of the body. This surgical procedure could also be executed if part of your physique has misplaced its protective overlaying of pores and skin due to burns, damage, or illness. Skin grafts are carried out in a hospital. Most pores and skin grafts contain general anesthesia, which means youâ€™ll be asleep all through the procedure and wonâ€™t feel any ache. Why are skin grafts finished? A pores and skin graft is positioned over an area of the physique the place the skin has been lost. There are two basic varieties of pores and skin grafts: cut up-thickness and full-thickness grafts. A split-thickness graft entails removing the highest layer of the skin – the epidermis – as well as a portion of the deeper layer of the pores and skin, called the dermis. The surgeon removes these layers from the donor site, which is the area where the wholesome skin is positioned.
Split-thickness pores and skin grafts usually come from the front or outer thigh, abdomen, buttocks, or back. Surgeons use cut up-thickness grafts to cowl larger areas of damaged pores and skin. These grafts are typically fragile and sometimes have a shiny or easy appearance. They can also appear paler than the adjoining pores and skin. Split-thickness grafts donâ€™t develop as readily as ungrafted skin, so youngsters who get them may have additional grafts as they develop older. A full-thickness graft involves removing the entire epidermis and dermis from the donor site. Surgeons often take wholesome skin from the abdomen, groin, forearm, or area above the clavicle (collarbone). The grafts are usually smaller items of skin, because the surgeon sometimes pulls collectively and closes the donor site in a straight-line incision with stitches or staples. Doctors typically use full-thickness grafts for small wounds on extremely visible components of the physique, such as the face. Unlike cut up-thickness grafts, full-thickness grafts mix in with the skin around them and tend to have a better cosmetic final result.
Your doctor will probably schedule your pores and skin graft several weeks in advance, so youâ€™ll have time to plan for the surgery. It’s best to plan to inform your physician ahead of time about any prescription or over-the-counter medications youâ€™re taking, including vitamins and supplements. Certain medications, corresponding to aspirin, can interfere with the bloodâ€™s means to type clots. Your doctor may ask you to vary your dose or cease taking these medications before the surgical procedure. Additionally, smoking or using tobacco merchandise will impair your potential to heal following a skin graft, so your doctor will doubtless ask you to cease smoking ahead of your surgery. Your physician will even let you know not to eat or drink something after midnight on the day of the process. This is to stop you from vomiting and choking in the course of the surgery if the anesthesia nauseates you. You also needs to plan on bringing a family member or pal who can drive you house after the surgery. General anesthesia might make you drowsy after the procedure, so that you shouldnâ€™t drive until the consequences have totally worn off.
Itâ€™s additionally a good suggestion to have somebody stay with you for the primary few days after the surgical procedure. It’s possible you’ll need assistance performing certain tasks and getting across the home. A surgeon will start the operation by eradicating pores and skin from the donor site. If youâ€™re getting a break up-thickness graft, the surgeon will take away skin from an space of your physique thatâ€™s normally hidden by clothing, resembling your hip or the surface of your thigh. If youâ€™re getting a full-thickness graft, your surgeon will seemingly use your abdomen, groin, forearm, or area above the collarbone as the donor site. Once skin is faraway from the donor site, the surgeon will carefully place it over the transplant space and secure it with a surgical dressing, staples, or stitches. If itâ€™s a cut up-thickness graft, it could also be â€œmeshed.â€ This involves the surgeon slicing multiple slits in the graft to stretch it out so as to harvest much less skin from your donor site.