Skin Grafting

The skin forms a very important part of our body. Apart from being a factor to determine a person’s outer beauty, it also serves as a protective layer of the body to prevent loss of fluids, a barrier to stop the entry of bacteria or virus in the body and also keep the temperature of the body intact. Sometimes this skin gets damaged at some parts and may pose a threat to the health or appearance of a person. To overcome this loss, the skin grafting surgery is highly recommended. Skin grafting is a surgical process in which a patch of skin from one area (donor site)is transplanted to the required affected area. The donor site is usually that part of the body that remains unexposed, like the inner thighs or buttocks.

Skin grafting is compulsorily required for the areas that have burns or a victim of some incurable infection. Many more reasons to opt for skin grafting include skin cancer surgeries, venous ulcers or diabetic ulcers that do not heal, large wounds or the wounds that have not been closed properly by the surgeon. The graft is held by little pressure from the padded dressing or a few stitches. Sometimes skin grafting is done if a cosmetic surgery requires.

There are many types of skin grafting procedures used today. When the donor skin is taken out from the patient himself, it is known as Autograft. It is much preferredas the immune system may ultimately reject foreign skin. When the skin of another person is used, it is called allograft. Autograft is further divided into two types- Split-Thickness Grafts, Full-Thickness Grafts. In split-thickness grafts, only a few layers of skin is removed from the donor site as the wounds are shallow and affect only the epidermis or a part of thedermis. Full-thickness grafts are done on the burnt areas or the skin deeply affected by incurable ulcers and diseases. Here, all the three skin layers- the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis are removed which consist of the hair follicles, blood vessels, and sweat glands. They help the grafted areas look and function normally.

This surgery may bring along some risks like infection, bleeding, chronic pain, either reduced skin sensation or increased sensitivity, skin discolouration and uneven skin. But still, it has more chances of being successful and has to be taken great care of after the surgery.

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