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Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

Understanding Skin Graft Surgery

Burn victims who suffer severe burns may need special treatment to repair their injuries.  For Kansas City burn victims, knowledge of the skin grafting process can help alleviate fears about the surgery, as well as what may be required for recovery.

Skin graft patients can include burn victims who have suffered third degree burns.  For patients who are undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery, skin grafts may be a necessary part of the process.  Other circumstances that require a skin graft may include severe skin infections resulting in complete skin loss.  Additionally, combat victims that have suffered severe injuries can also require a skin graft.

During the skin graft surgery, a section of healthy skin is removed from the donor site and used to create a skin patch to replace the damaged skin.  Patients will be sedated or completely anesthetized and unaware of the pain.  Using a tool called a dermatome doctors carefully remove small sections of skin that include both the epidermis (the outer most layer of skin) and the dermis (the layer beneath that).

Skin grafts are separated into two categories, known as split-thickness skin grafts and full-thickness skin grafts.  Split-thickness skin grafts include the outer layer and the immediate inner layer of skin as described before.  Full-thickness grafts include the blood supply and the muscle tissue from the donor site.  Expectedly, full-thickness surgeries are more complicated than split-thickness procedures.

Donor skin is usually taken from areas of the body that can be hidden from view.  Whether that site is the buttocks or the inner thigh or another well-concealed area, matching the color and tone of the skin to the recipient site is an important aspect of the surgery.  After the new skin is removed, the donor site will be covered by sterile dressings for a number of days to protect it from infection.

Amazingly, within 36 hours of the surgery, blood flow will reach the new skin.  Skin grafts are highly successful, though there is a low rate of rejection that may require a secondary graft.  The key to the success of the skin graft is found in the quality of the blood circulation within hours after the surgery.  The skin graft site will be checked and rechecked for days following the surgery.  The new skin should not be subjected to stretching or tearing within three to four weeks after the surgery.

If you or a loved have suffered severe burn injuries from an accident or the negligent actions of another person, the Kansas City personal injury lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys may be able to help. Call us toll free at 888-348-2616 to schedule your free consultation. You can also download a copy of our free resource guide, "10 Essential Steps You Must Take To Protect Your Injury Claim", which addresses many common questions and concerns about personal injury claims. 

James Roswold
James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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