Medical diagrams and trial exhibits for personal injury, surgical malpractice, and anatomy. Medical diagrams and trial exhibits for personal injury, surgical malpractice, and anatomy. Medical diagrams and trial exhibits for personal injury, surgical malpractice, and anatomy.

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Open Wound Injury and Skin Graft

A skin graft is a patch of skin that is surgically removed from one area of the body and transplanted to another area.

While you are sleepy (sedated) or deep asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia), healthy skin is taken from elsewhere on your body using a skin-cutting instrument (dermatome). This is called a split-thickness skin graft. It contains a portion of the top layer of skin (epidermis) and the layer under the epidermis (dermis).

The donor site can be taken from any area of the body -- usually an area that is hidden by clothes, such as the buttock or inner thigh. Which area is selected should be based on the visibility of the donor skin and color match. The graft is carefully spread on the bare area to be covered. It is held in place either by gentle pressure from a well-padded dressing, by staples, or by a few small stitches. The raw donor area is covered with a sterile dressing for 3-5 days to protect it from infection.

People with greater tissue loss may need a full-thickness skin graft, which includes the entire thickness of the skin. In this more complicated procedure, a flap of skin with its muscles and blood supply is transplanted to the area to be grafted. Common donor sites include skin and muscle flaps from the back or abdominal wall.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Illustration of open wound on forearm covered with skin graft from thigh:

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Illustrations: Open Wound Injury and Skin Graft Diagrams. Thumbnails:    Medical diagrams and resources regarding Open Wound Injury and Skin Graft.
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