Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Aftercare

Once a skin graft has been put in place, it must be maintained carefully even after it has healed. Patients who have grafts on their legs should remain in bed for seven to 10 days with their legs elevated. For several months, the patient should support...

the graft with an Ace bandage or Jobst stocking. Grafts on other areas of the body should be similarly supported after healing to decrease the amount of contracture.

Grafted skin does not contain sweat or oil glands, and should be lubricated daily for two to three months with mineral oil or another bland oil to prevent drying and cracking.

Aftercare of patients with severe burns typically includes psychological or psychiatric counseling as well as wound care and physical rehabilitation, particularly if the patient's face has been disfigured. The severe pain and lengthy period of recovery involved in burn treatment are often accompanied by anxiety and depression. If the patient's burns occurred in combat, a transportation disaster, terrorist attack, or other fire involving large numbers of people, he or she is at high risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Doctors treating the survivors of a nightclub fire in Rhode Island in February 2003 gave them anti-anxiety medications within a few days of the tragedy in order to reduce the risk of PTSD.



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This narrated slide show explains what happens when the skin is damaged from a burn. First, second, and third degree burns are discussed along with the complications that can occur with severe burns.

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Skin grafts may be used in several thicknesses (A). To begin the procedure, a special cement is used on the donor skin area (C). The grafting machine is applied to the area, and a sample taken (D). After the graft is stitched to the recipient area, it is covered with nonadherent gauze (E) and a layer of fluffy surgical gauze held in place with suture (F). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) Skin grafts may be used in several thicknesses (A). To begin the procedure, a special cement is used on the donor skin area (C). The grafting machine is applied to the area, and a sample taken (D). After the graft is stitched to the recipient area, it is covered with nonadherent gauze (E) and a layer of fluffy surgical gauze held in place with suture (F). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

Skin grafting is a type of medical grafting involving the transplantation of skin. The transplanted tissue is called a skin graft.

Skin grafting is often used to treat:

Extensive wounding or trauma

Burns

Areas of prior infection with extensive skin loss

Specific surgeries that may require skin grafts for healing to occur

Skin grafts are often employed after serious injuries when some of the body's skin is damaged. Surgical removal (excision or debridement) of the damaged skin is followed by skin grafting. The grafting serves two purposes: it can reduce the course of treatment needed (and time in the hospital), and it can improve the function and appearance of the area of the body which receives the skin graft.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_graft

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