5 Q/A THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SKIN GRAFTING: #1 The Best Orthopedics in Siliguri & North Bengal – Dr. Ujjwal Kejriwal

#1 The Best Orthopedics in Siliguri & North Bengal - Dr. Ujjwal Kejriwal
#1 The Best Orthopedics in Siliguri & North Bengal - Dr. Ujjwal Kejriwal
  • QUESTION: What is Skin Grafting?
  • ANSWER: Skin grafting is a surgical procedure that involves removing skin from one area of the body and moving it, or transplanting it, to a different area of the body. This surgery may be done if a part of your body has lost its protective covering of skin due to burns, injury, or illness. Skin grafts are performed in a hospital. Most skin grafts are done using general anesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure and won’t feel any pain.
  • QUESTION: Why are skin grafts done?
  • ANSWER: A skin graft is placed over an area of the body where skin has been lost. Common reasons for a skin graft include skin infections, deep burns, large and open wounds, bed sores or other ulcers on the skin that haven’t healed well and lastly, skin cancer surgery.
  • QUESTION: How many types of skin grafts are there?
  • ANSWER: There are two basic types of skin grafts: split-thickness and full-thickness grafts. They are as follows:
    • Split-thickness grafts: A split-thickness graft involves removing the top layer of the skin — the epidermis — as well as a portion of the deeper layer of the skin, called the dermis. These layers are taken from the donor site, which is the area where the healthy skin is located. Split-thickness grafts are used to cover large areas. These grafts tend to be fragile and typically have a shiny or smooth appearance. They may also appear paler than the adjoining skin.
    • Full-thickness grafts: A full-thickness graft involves removing all of the epidermis and dermis from the donor site. These are usually taken from the abdomen, groin, forearm, or area above the clavicle (collarbone). Full-thickness grafts are generally used for small wounds on highly visible parts of the body, such as the face.
  • QUESTION: How will you prepare for a skin graft surgery?
  • ANSWER: Your doctor will likely schedule your skin graft several weeks in advance, so you’ll have time to plan for the surgery. You have to tell your doctor ahead of time about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Additionally, smoking or tobacco products will impair your ability to heal a skin graft, so stop smoking ahead of your surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of the procedure. This is to prevent you from vomiting and choking during the surgery if the anaesthesia nauseates you. You should also plan on bringing a family member or friend who can drive you home after the surgery. General anaesthesia may make you drowsy after the procedure, so assistance is required.
  • QUESTION: What do we need to know about the aftercare for a skin graft?
  • ANSWER: The doctor and other medical personnel will watch you closely after your surgery, monitoring your vital signs and giving you medications to manage the pain. The graft should start developing blood vessels and connecting to the skin around it within 36 hours. If these blood vessels don’t begin to form shortly after the surgery, it could be a sign that your body is rejecting the graft. You may hear your doctor say that the graft “hasn’t taken.” This may happen for several reasons including infection, fluid or blood collecting under the graft, or too much movement of the graft on the wound. This may also happen if you smoke or have poor blood flow to the area being grafted. You may need another surgery and a new graft if the first graft doesn’t take.

When you leave the hospital, your doctor will give you a prescription for painkillers to help minimize the pain. They’ll also instruct you on how to care for the graft site and the donor site so they don’t get infected. The donor site will heal within one to two weeks, but the graft site will take a bit longer to heal. For at least three to four weeks after the surgery, you’ll need to avoid doing any activities that could stretch or injure the graft site. Your doctor will tell you when it’s safe to resume your normal activities.

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