Skin grafting involves the taking a thin (split thickness) layer of skin from another part of the body and placing it over the injured area. Skin flap surgery involves moving an entire thickness (full thickness) of skin, fat, nerves, blood vessels, and muscle from a healthy part of the body to the injured site. These techniques are planned when a considerable amount of skin has been lost in the original injury, when a thin scar will not heal, and when improved function (rather than aesthetic reasons) are the primary concern. Secondary procedures may later be necessary to achieve appropriate aesthetic results.
Update Date 4/14/2015
Updated by: Hebe Molmenti, MD, PhD, private practice specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.