Every more or less educated person knows that skin is the largest human body organ which covers the entire surface outside of the body. It consists of two main skin layers: epidermis (the outer one) and dermis. Thanks to keratynocytes (dead cells in the epidermis) human skin is provided by a strong protective coating.
As it has already been mentioned, skin can be damaged and a skin grafting surgery may become vital in this case. Such wounds as the third-degree burns must be covered with skin graft as quick as possible. This should be done to prevent loss of fluid and a possible infection. Be aware that wounds which are left to heal on their own (with no medical treatment applied) usually contract and result in serious scarring. I can`t but say that if the wound appears to be large the scar can even prevent the movement of limbs. In the majority of cases skin grafting surgery is an essential procedure for treating such non-healing wounds as venous ulcers, diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, etc. In this way the wounds can be protected from further progression of the wounded area and possible infection.
If you want to have a complete idea about skin grafting surgery you should know about skin grafting indications. The surgery is sometimes performed as a part of plastic surgery procedures (particularly, elective ones). However, it is considered to have most extensive use in burns treatment.
As a matter of fact, the term “graft” generally refers to either an autograft or allograft. An autograft is known as one of the graft types which uses skin from other areas of the patient`s body. The autograft can be performed when there`s enough undamaged skin left and if the person`s health condition is good enough to undergo a skin grafting surgery. An allograft differs from the previous graft type because it uses skin obtained from another person (donor). It`s interesting to admit that donor skin is frozen and stored in special containers and usually available for use in the skin grafting surgery.
The skin used in the skin grafting surgery can be taken not only from a human being, but also from animals (for example, pigs). If skin is taken from an animal it is called a xenograft. Be aware that xenografts and allografts are able to provide only temporary covering of the body. As a rule, these graft types are rejected by the patient`s immune system for being nonhuman. The rejection occurs usually within seven days after the skin grafting surgery. Then, they are replaced with an autograft.
It is impossible to speak about skin grafting surgery and not to mention possible skin grafting risks and pronosis. So, among the most common skin grafting risks are allergic reactions to certain medications, bleeding, temporary problems with breathing, and, no doubt, risk of infection. In addition, in case the skin grafting surgery is performed via transmission of infected donor skin, the patient may also become infected. Thus, before having a skin grafting surgery the recipient site and tissue must be as sterile as possible to prevent further infection.