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Skin Grafting

A skin graft surgically repairs missing or damaged skin by taking healthy skin from another part of the body and applying it to the damaged area. There are many potential applications for skin grafting, such as for the treatment of wounds caused by trauma, burns, infection, non-healing scars and various types of skin ulceration or pressure wounds. Skin grafting can also help after skin cancer surgery where there has been skin loss or damage. Skin grafts provide a new layer of protection over the affected area, facilitate healing and improve appearance.

Skin Graft Surgery

Skin graft surgery is performed under general anesthesia, unless the affected area is small enough for a local anesthetic to be used. The wound is cleaned, and a full or partial layer of healthy skin is removed from another part of the body, placed over the affected area and sutured in place to heal and form a new, protective barrier. The type of skin graft performed depends on the defect size, location, cosmetic goals, or other considerations.

If you have skin in need of reconstruction or replacement after illness, injury, or surgery and would like to inquire whether skin grafting could improve your appearance and help you heal, contact Healing Waters to arrange a personal consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.

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– Sierra Patricia Scott
TV Personality, Wichita, KS

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate?

If you are seeking to restore skin that has been lost or damaged due to injury, illness, surgery, or some other reason, you may be a candidate for a skin graft.

Candidates who are non-smoking, in good general health and have good circulation tend to have the best results. Certain medical conditions or medications may interfere with blood flow or healing and complicate surgery.

Not every patient, wound or circumstance is suitable for skin graft repair. A personal consultation with one of our plastic surgeons is the best way to learn whether a skin graft is right for you. Your Healing Waters plastic surgeon will apply advanced training and expertise to evaluate your case and determine how we can help you. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, contact your preferred Healing Waters location for an appointment.

What to expect post-surgery?

Newly grafted skin tends to be delicate and requires adequate protection and consistent aftercare in the weeks following surgery. The treated area will need to be kept clean and dry. Dressings, bandages, special splints or casts may be worn for many weeks or months to allow the graft to “take” and to heal. Dressings and bandages will require periodic changing. Ointments may be used, and in some cases pain medication or antibiotics may be prescribed. It will be important to avoid strenuous activity and exposure to sunlight during the healing process. Regular monitoring is essential, and patients will have follow-up visits with their plastic surgeon. Every patient is unique, and healing times will vary with patient health, the extent of treatment, and other factors.

The plastic surgeons at Healing Waters are committed to a high standard of patient care and are dedicated to patient education. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions and support, including expert guidance on caring for and monitoring your skin graft, when to resume normal activity, exercise, work or sports, and any other concerns which you may have.

What are the risks?

The success of a skin graft depends in part upon how well the newly grafted skin will take to the area of transplant. Factors such as the location and extent of the graft, the health of the patient, and the aftercare can affect healing.

Although the procedure is typically safe, some of the potential complications that can develop with skin grafting include anesthesia complications, bleeding or hematoma, infection, changes in or loss of skin sensation, discoloration, scarring, and rejection or failure of the graft. In cases where a graft fails, additional reconstruction may be needed.

Who should not have a skin graft?

Patients who have significant bleeding or a compromised blood supply in the damaged area are at greater risk for developing complications with a skin graft. Smoking, certain medical conditions or medications that could interfere with healing, circulation, or overall fitness for surgery may preclude a patient from candidacy.

If you are considering a skin graft, you will need to consult with a plastic surgeon to evaluate your candidacy and treatment options. If you would like more information, contact Healing Waters to arrange a plastic surgery consultation.

How long will results last?

Successful skin grafts typically yield lasting results. It is important to realize that while a skin graft can dramatically improve the appearance of a damaged area or wound, the transplanted skin may not perfectly match the surrounding skin, and there may be some difference in texture or color.

From what part of my body will you remove skin for the skin graft?

The area of your body from which skin will be donated for your skin graft will depend upon the type of skin graft being performed, compatibility, the area being treated, and extent of treatment required. Full thickness skin grafts are often taken from areas containing skin folds, such as the arms, neck, abdomen, groin, or behind the ears. Split (partial) skin graft donor areas most commonly include arms, thighs, abdomen or buttocks.

What happens to the area where the skin is removed for the graft?

If only a partial thickness skin graft is taken, the area from which skin is removed will usually heal on its own within a couple of weeks. The area will resemble an abrasion, and scarring will occur in the shape of the donor skin removed. Where a full thickness graft is taken, the area from which skin is donated will require sutures. This will leave a thin line scar that will fade with time.

What can I do to prepare for skin graft surgery?

The most important thing you can do is be sure you disclose to your plastic surgeon all medical conditions, prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking, supplements, smoking, and problems with circulation or blood clotting.

Your plastic surgeon will thoroughly review the procedure and risks with you, answer any questions or concerns you may have, and provide you with detailed pre-operative and post-operative instructions and advice to help ensure a smooth procedure and recovery.


More Skin Plastic Surgery

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Skin Grafting is available at these Healing Waters locations:


Financing is available for this procedure at participating locations and for qualified applicants.

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Our Locations

Healing Waters Wichita
2000 N. Rock Rd., Ste. 100
Wichita, KS 67206
(316) 262-2995
Wichita Spa
Healing Waters Columbia
300 Palmetto Health Pkwy.
Columbia, SC 29212
(803) 907-7100
Columbia Spa
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