Skin Grafts

Dr. Morse may select skin grafting as a technique to assist in reconstruction surgery, scar revision, melanoma surgery, or a number of other surgical procedures. Skin grafts are prescribed when there is inadequate skin available to complete the treatment process.

Indications for Skin Grafts

Skin grafts have been proven to assist in the following preventive and recovery measures:

  • Promotion of accelerated healing of burns and other wounds
  • Reduction of scar contracture
  • Reduction of fluid loss
  • Protection from bacterial invasion

Your Skin Graft Procedure With Dr. Morse

Depending on the size of the graft, local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used. If an autograft (section of healthy skin taken from another location on the patient's own body) is selected, Dr. Morse will first remove damaged tissue from the wound site to ensure that the skin graft will adhere to the recipient site. He will then collect the graft with a dermatome, a tool that shaves very thin slices of skin, and place the graft on the recipient site, securing it at the edges with sutures. Ointment and mesh gauze, bandages, casts, or elastic netting may be used to help keep the graft in place.

In the absence of a satisfactory autograft, allografts (skin from other individuals or skin substitutes) may be used. Xenografts, grafts made from skin of other animal species, may be used as a temporary solution until other grafts are available. The body will begin to reject a xenograft after 3 to 5 days; therefore, new xenografts must be applied to recipient site frequently until a more appropriate graft becomes available.

What to Expect After Surgery

The initial dressing placed on a recipient site may remain in place from 3 days to 1 week, and new dressings are placed over the graft site until the skin graft is fully healed. Dr. Morse will go over instructions for postoperative treatment like recipient site dressings, as well as the application of lotion to graft sites to alleviate symptoms patients experience in the healing process.

To learn more about the benefits, costs or possible side effects of skin grafting, contact Dr. Morse for a personal consultation.