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Reconstruction after Skin Lesion Removal

Local Skin Flap

This type of reconstructive plastic surgery is typically used to repair defects left behind after traumatic injury or skin cancer excision. A flap is a piece of tissue from the body that is placed into the injured area but remains attached to the body at its base and has blood vessels that enter into the flap from the donor site. The surgeon manipulates and frees this tissue in order to cover the defect. Because flaps have their own blood supply, they are more resilient than skin grafts, and may produce a superior cosmetic result since they provide a better match for skin tone and texture.

Skin Grafts

Split-thickness skin grafts include two skin layers-the full epidermal skin layer and part of the dermal skin layer. The skin is usually removed from flat body surfaces such as the abdomen, thigh or back, and is then sown or stapled into place. The advantage of the split thickness graft is that it uses less tissue thereby offering a higher percentage rate of graft survival while minimizing the damage to the donor site.

Full- thickness skin grafts include the complete dermal and epidermal skin layers. This type of graft can offer a better cosmetic outcome than the split-thickness graft. This thicker graft allows less chance for contraction to occur, can withstand trauma better, and prevents deformation.

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