Split Skin Grafting for Burns Wounds

Skin Grafting is required for 3rd Degree Burns and some Deep 2nd Degree Burns. It is the only way that burns wounds can be satisfactorily closed and subsequently healed with a minimum of scarring.

The various types of grafting are outlined on this page.
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Here, we describe the Autograft method where the Donor Skin is taken from the patient, usually the thighs or buttocks. If the Total Burn area is 70% or greater then there would not be enough area of unharmed skin for this, and some temporary type of covering would be necessary, until cultured skin was available, which could be in 30 days or so.Dermatome

Initially the Burns Wound would be cleaned (debrided) and prepared for grafting, then a Dermatome is used to harvest the skin from the Donor Site.

The thickness of this skin varies according to the size and site of the wound, small areas on the face and neck are done with a thicker Split-Skin graft, and often with a Full Thickness Graft to minimise later scarring. These grafts are not meshed.
Meshing Tool
Wounds on areas that would be concealed by clothing are covered with a thinner Split-Skin graft which takes the Epidemis and a small part of the Dermis, this skin is then Meshed to increase the coverage and flexibility. The grafted areas on my arm and torso still show the meshing pattern after 30 years.

Below is an excellent Video -- showing the entire Grafting Surgery.

BUT, be warned, it is fairly grisly.

Return to Treating Burns from Skin Grafting
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