A skin graft is a surgical procedure during which a specialist transplants healthy skin tissue from one part of the body to another, damaged area. Skin grafts are most often necessary in cases of skin tissue injury or infection. The volume of healthy donor skin that is transplanted depends on the severity of the damage. Though there is a risk of complications following skin grafting, the procedure is generally safe and effective. The science of skin grafting is evolving, and new approaches are being developed to minimize risks and improve the practice.


1. Why Are Skin Grafts Performed?

Skin grafts are performed when an injury or infection causes extensive damage to the tissue that the remaining skin cells cannot repair. Skin grafts are most commonly performed in cases of:

  • Second- or third-degree burns
  • Skin loss due to deep tissue infection
  • Trauma to the skin
  • Surgical removal of cancerous tissue

Depending on the extent of skin loss, the physician will perform either a split-thickness or full-thickness skin graft.

skin grafts damage infection injury mediaphotos / Getty Images

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