Skin grafting is a technique that involves removing a patch of skin from one area of the body (the donor site) and transplanting it to another area. It is indicated in severe injuries such as burns, large open wounds, skin infections, bed sores or severe ulcers of the skin.
Split-thickness skin grafting involves removing the top two skin layers, the dermis and the epidermis, from the donor site (buttock or upper thigh) to cover the injury. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. Once the donor skin is removed, it is carefully placed onto the recipient region. Your surgeon secures it in place with the help of stitches, staples or a surgical dressing. The donor area is also covered with a sterile dressing.
Split thickness grafts appear shiny and have a smooth appearance. However, since they don’t blend well with the adjacent skin and don’t grow as the body grows with age, there may be a need for additional grafts later in life.
As with any invasive procedure, split thickness skin grafting may involve certain risks and complications which include chronic pain, infection, scarring, discoloration of the skin, uneven skin surface, increased sensitivity, reduced or lost skin sensation, and bleeding.