Utilizing Free Skin Grafts in the Repair of Surgical Wounds


The use of free grafts to close defects in wounds following surgery has long been utilized in dermatology practice. However, because of the low survival of the grafts, their popularity has dwindled over recent years. The use of techniques such as attaching an “umbilical cord” from the base of the grafts to the underlying deep fascia or cartilage has markedly increased graft survival. In this paper, the scope of free grafts is presented, showing survival of even large grafts if anchored to the deep tissue with multiple “umbilical cord” attachments. The advantages of full-thickness free skin grafts include the ability to close the wound immediately following removal of the tumor, with decreased risk of infection and pain, requiring fewer dressing changes and visits. The technique of close stitching, with interrupted sutures 1 - 2 mm apart, prevents contact of the wound with oxygen from the air, resulting in increased graft survival from revascularization of the free graft. With the added use of extra-strength curcumin gel, perfect regeneration may be achieved. In addition, in most free grafts, it was observed that there was recovery of sensation due to presumed nerve regeneration.

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M. Heng, "Utilizing Free Skin Grafts in the Repair of Surgical Wounds," Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 201-211. doi: 10.4236/jcdsa.2012.23037.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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