This is a process that is usually associated with burn victims. It has been adapted in cosmetic surgery for severe scarring, rhinoplasty or breast surgery. Skin is removed from a donor site and transplanted on to a receptor site. If just a few layers of skin are transplanted it is known as a split thickness graft. Another type of graft is known as a full-thickness graft: this involves the entire dermis layer of the skin.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The surgeon will remove skin from the buttock or some other inconspicuous area this is known as the “donor site”. The graft is then placed on the receptor site, the area of scarring, and stitched into place. Both areas are dressed to protect them from infection. Prophylactic antibiotics may be given to further help prevent infection. Depending on the thickness of the graft, downtime of between 3 to 8 weeks can be expected. After the procedure the area is still noticeable with usually low level, permanent scarring.
It is very effective for serious conditions such as burns and scarring.
The graft is not always successful. Infection may occur, potentially making the condition worse. A skilled surgeon is essential and some scarring will still usually result.