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Skin graft placement

Skin grafting is harvesting donor skin from one part of the body and transplanting to another part of the body.

If the skin comes from your own body, it is called an autograft, and autografting is the final step for wound closure.

If the skin comes from the skin bank, it is called an allograft because it comes from another person. When people donate their organs, they also donate their skin. Allograft is used for temporary closure, but it will always be rejected and need to be replaced with autograft.

Sometimes, we use pig skin as a temporary bandage over burns, and this is called xenograft.

Autografts: Sheet vs. mesh

An autograft can be meshed or placed as a sheet graft. Sheet grafts are less scarring; however, they require more donor skin to cover a burned area. Meshed grafts are used when a large burn needs to be covered and there is not much donor skin available. Meshed grafts heal with a fishnet-like appearance that fades over time but never smoothes out completely.

Warning: Clinical photos can be graphic.

Sheet graft (neck and shoulder)

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Warning: Clinical photos can be graphic.

Mesh graft (back)

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