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Severe Burn Injuries and Skin Grafting

Catastrophic burn injuries are not just painful, they also leave survivors with terrible scarring and disfigurement that can affect their self-esteem and impact their quality of life. Skin grafting is one of the most common treatments for addressing deep burns, in addition to other types of wounds. It involves a surgical procedure wherein skin is removed from one area of the body and transplanted to a different area. It is performed in cases where a part of the body has lost its protective covering of skin as a result of a severe burn, injury, or illness.

Types of Skin Grafts

There are two different types of skin grafts, which we will review below:

  • Split-thickness grafts: This type of graft involves removing the top layer of skin, which is known as the epidermis, in addition to a deeper layer of the skin that is known as the dermis. These layers of healthy skin are usually harvested from the front or outer thigh, abdomen, buttocks, or the back. This type of skin graft is typically used to cover large areas and are often fragile and shiny in appearance. They are also often paler than the adjoining skin. Split-thickness grafts do not grow as easily as ungrafted skin, so if the patient is a child, he or she will likely need additional grafts as time passes.
  • Full-thickness grafts: Full-thickness grafts involve the removal of all of the epidermis and dermis from the donor site. Unlike the split-thickness graft, donor sites for this type of graft include the groin, forearm, collarbone, and the abdomen. The pieces used for this are generally smaller and are usually transplanted to more visible parts of the body, such as the face. Full-thickness grafts tend to blend in easier with the skin around them, resulting in a better cosmetic outcome.

For those who suffer severe burn injuries to the face or neck, it is likely that a full-thickness graft will be used to try to repair the damage.

Healing After a Skin Graft

The procedure itself involves several different steps and, though you will be under general anesthesia throughout the process, aftercare can be painful. Once it is over, your doctor will likely want you to remain in the hospital for a few days to ensure that the graft and donor sites are healing well. Your vitals will also be monitored and you will be given medication to help manage the pain. If, after 36 hours the graft does not begin to form blood vessels, this could indicate that your body is rejecting the graft.

The rejection of a skin graft can happen for any number of reasons, such as too much fluid or blood beneath the graft or too much movement of the graft on the wound. In this case, another surgery will be necessary for a new graft if the first one does not take.

Burn Injury Attorney in Atlanta

If you suffered a severe burn injury, you know that the pain does not end after the incident that caused it is over. You might have to endure multiple surgeries, take pain medication, and endure the physical pain and mental suffering. At Pratt Clay, LLC in Atlanta, our catastrophic injury attorneys are here to ensure you are able to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligent actions and obtain the fair and just compensation you deserve.

Get started on your case today and contact us at (404) 998-5258 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our experienced attorneys.