Skin Grafting

Conveniently located to serve Fort Worth

Skin GraftingSkin grafting involves removing a layer or partial layer of skin from a healthy area of a patient’s body (donor site) and applying it to an area of significantly damaged or missing skin (graft site). With time, this new layer of skin will heal over and protect the affected location. At New Leaf Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Fort Worth, skin grafting is performed by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Candis Lovelace.

Types of Skin Grafts

When the skin graft is taken from the patient’s own body, the procedure is called autografting. There are three versions of autografting:

Split-Thickness Skin Graft (STSG)

During STSG, the top layer of skin (epidermis) and only part of the layer below (dermis) are removed. This is ideal when a large portion of skin needs to be grafted. It also takes less time to heal.

Full-Thickness Skin Graft (FTSG)

FTSG is used to treat smaller areas that are more visible, such as the face or hands. It is an even more thorough procedure, removing both the epidermis and full dermis, but healing will typically take a bit longer.

Composite Graft

The composite graft technique is utilized when other types of tissue need to be transferred, too, not just skin. A good example would be cartilage.

Indications for Skin Grafting

Skin grafting surgery can be an excellent way to repair damaged or missing skin caused by:

  • Burns
  • Wounds
  • Trauma
  • Disease
  • Infection
  • Skin cancer

During your initial consultation with Dr. Lovelace, she will review your complete medical history, including the details of your skin condition. If approved for skin grafting surgery, she’ll select the best version based on your specific needs. Additionally, Dr. Lovelace will carefully study your healthy skin to find an area of closely matching tone and texture.

Usually, the donor site will be on one of these locations:

  • Thigh
  • Groin area
  • Buttock
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Collarbone area
  • Forearm

The Skin Grafting Procedure

Your skin grafting surgery will take place with the help of either local or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Dr. Lovelace will then make incisions on the donor site and remove the predetermined amount of healthy skin. Depending on patient requirements, she may make tiny cuts in this removed portion of skin to help it stretch after transfer. Lastly, the donor skin is placed onto the graft site with sutures.

Recovery and Post-Procedure Care

Once your treatment is complete, you will likely have surgical dressings on both the donor and graft sites. While your exact recovery period may vary based on your particular treatment plan, you’ll be asked to avoid stretching the areas, including from heavy lifting or working out, for a few weeks. To make sure the graft “takes,” be sure to keep the sites clean as directed and continue abstaining from smoking for at least six weeks.

How Much Does Skin Grafting Cost?

The price of your skin grafting procedure will depend on the technique used, the amount of skin to be transferred, and other patient-specific factors. Please speak with your health insurance carrier for more details regarding the cost of reconstructive plastic surgery. We also offer financing through CareCredit® for qualifying patients.

Learn More

If you think you may be eligible for skin grafting in Fort Worth, Dr. Candis Lovelace is ready to meet with you. Contact New Leaf Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery today to schedule your consultation.

  • What are the risks of Skin Grafts/Flaps?

    The risks of skin grafts/flaps includes bleeding, infection, scarring, hematoma, seroma, possible need for drains, dehiscence, contour irregularities, asymmetry, poor cosmesis, need for further surgery, numbness/hypersensation, nerve/vessel/muscle injury, skin/flap necrosis, fat necrosis, distortion of surrounding structures, donor site morbidity, cardiac/pulmonary/stroke/DVT/PE events, death, etc.