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Skin Grafts

Damaged skin from deep burns and other injuries, skin ulcers, and removed lesions can be treated with skin grafts in McLean. Skin grafts are healthy patches of skin transferred over to areas of the body that have lost skin.

Since this procedure requires great expertise, it’s important to choose the right surgeon for the job. Dr. Cohen’s extensive training in plastic and reconstructive surgery allows him to deliver the best results for patients who want to restore their skin’s appearance.

What Are Skin Grafts?

Skin grafts are sections of healthy skin surgically harvested from the patient’s own body. They are used to cover up severely damaged skin from burns and large open wounds. They are also often used as part of treatment of lesions, sores, and skin ulcers after removal of tissue.

The skin grafts are transplanted to the damaged areas to help recover the skin’s original healthy condition. This restoration will include the skin’s appearance and function.

Am I a Good Candidate for Skin Grafts?

The best candidates for skin grafts are burn patients and patients who are planning to have a cancerous skin lesion removed. Patients with non-healing wounds due to infection and those who went through extensive skin excision may also benefit from this procedure.

In some cases, wounds are too large, and the remaining skin is not enough to close the wound. Skin grafting can aid in wound closure and help the patient recover from the injury.

People who drink a lot of alcohol may not be recommended for skin grafting. Alcohol thins the blood, which can risk uncontrolled bleeding during surgery.

Smokers may also have problems in being approved as candidates for skin grafting. Smoking can lead to slower healing of wounds and can risk blood clotting.

Your Skin Grafting Consultation

Skin grafting is a procedure that will require you to be very transparent with your surgeon, since this will reduce risks before and after surgery. Provide your complete medical history, including all past and current medications. Inform your surgeon regarding all medication allergies.

The Procedure

A skin grafting procedure will begin with sedation and anesthesia. General anesthesia will be administered to ensure that you are asleep during the whole procedure.

Once you are unconscious, skin grafts will be taken from your own skin. It may come from the inner thigh, buttocks, below the collarbone, behind the ear, or upper arm. Thanks to advanced surgical techniques, these areas will regenerate healthy skin through time.

After harvesting the skin graft, the surgeon will carefully place a patch of it over the transplant area. The skin graft will then be secured with surgical dressing, staples, or stitches. Once the surgery is done, the donor area will be covered in a bandage that will not stick to the skin.

The Recovery Process

The donor area for the graft will take 7 to 10 days to fully recover. Refrain from touching the area to avoid infection. Dr. Cohen will give you instructions regarding timing for bandage replacement or removal.

The skin graft will take longer to heal. Initially, medication will be prescribed to manage any discomfort or pain. After 2 to 3 days, the blood vessels will start to connect in the grafted area. Full blood circulation should return in 4 to 7 days.

While blood circulation can return after a few days, regaining the skin’s normal feeling can take months up to years to fully return. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure healing progress. It will be best to avoid certain physical activities in order to preserve proper healing.

Contact Us to Find Out More

To learn more about skin grafts for patients in McLean, contact us and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen. He will be available to discuss skin graft eligibility and the details of the process.