A skin GRAFT involves taking a piece of skin from an uninjured area of the body (called the donor site) and using it to provide coverage for an open wound. When primary closure of a wound is impossible because of soft tissue loss, skin grafting is done. However if vital structures like bone, nerve or tendon are exposed in the wound then skin grafting wont be successful. In such cases a FLAP surgery has to be done in which along with skin, soft tissue &/or muscle is transposed over the wound.
Typical post-operative symptoms:
Typical symptoms and signs to watch for following skin grafting or FLAP surgery include the following:
- Tingling, burning, redness, tightness at the surgical and donor site. These are normal experiences as the skin, tissues and sensory nerves heal. Pain medication will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to our clinic immediately.
- Shiny skin or any itchy feeling: Swelling can cause the skin to appear shiny. As the healing process advances, you may also find a mild to severe itchy feeling at your wound sites. An antihistamine like can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. As you resume your normal daily activities, you must continue proper care and healing.
After few weeks
- Discomfort or tightness and tingling will resolve.
- Continue wound care as directed. This includes any ointment, compression garments or other instructions you have been given.
- Do not smoke. While incisions may have sealed, smoking deprives your body of necessary oxygen that can result in poorly healed, wide, raised scars. For your long-term health, there is no need to resume smoking.
- Practice good sun protection. Do not expose your skin to direct sunlight. If you are outdoors, apply at least an SPF 30 at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and wear protective clothing. Your skin is highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation or irregular, darkened pigmentation.
- Wear elastic compression garments regularly.
- Your scars will continue to refine over a period of one year. If they become raised, red or thickened, or appear to widen, contact our clinic. Early intervention is important to achieving well-healed scars. Scars are generally refined to fine incision lines one year after surgery.
- A one-year post surgery follow-up is recommended. However, you may call our clinic at any time with your concerns or for needed follow-up.
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