A portion of healthy skin tissue, a skin graft is readily removed from one part of the human body and used to cover a wound elsewhere, as explained by SkinCancer.net. As such, a skin graft is part of a repair procedure following surgery to remove skin cancer, though a skin graft may also be used to promote healing after an injury or severe burn. While skin grafts are typically used to repair larger, more complicated wounds, they are particularly helpful in areas where skin is tight such as the ears, elbows and ankles.
Depending on the reason for a patient’s skin graft surgery, there are two general approaches. In one case, the top layer of skin, called the epidermis, and a portion of the dermis beneath it are shaved from a “donor” site. This technique is referred to as a split thickness skin graft. Once removed, the skin is then positioned in the “recipient site.” In another case, the epidermis and the entire underlying portion (dermis) are removed, so as to apply them to the recipient site. This technique is called a full thickness skin graft.
Donor sites are chosen carefully, and are usually based on the type of skin and its visibility. For instance, donor skin may be taken from behind the ear, or from the front of the thigh. Again, when performed following the removal of skin cancer, the nature of the repair dictates the timing of surgery and the method used. For example, when a non-melanoma skin cancer is removed with MOHS surgery, the performing surgeon can confirm that margins are clear immediately following the procedure. Yet, most plastic surgeons opt to wait a few days following the removal of melanoma, in order to ensure good pathology results and clear margins.
Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones – Exceptionally Skilled Skin Graft Surgeon in Atlanta
A double-board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones of Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists is exceptionally skilled in skin graft surgery, with over 20 years of experience. What’s more, Dr. Jones is an esteemed leader in the treatment and removal of skin cancers and lesions, giving patients the benefit of having both procedures performed by one doctor in one location.
For additional information regarding skin graft surgery or the removal of a skin cancer or lesion, call Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists today.