The Face
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Skin Grafts may involve transfer of the entire thickness of the skin, ( so-called "full thickness" skin grafts), or just the surface and a portion of the underlying dermis, ("split thickness" skin grafts). Full thickness skin grafts produce more natural appearing results, but are only of use for small defects since the donor area needs to be sutured closed. Full thickness skin grafts also require an optimal recipient bed for survival.

Split thickness grafts may be quite large because the bed left behind will heal on its own, requiring no repair. These grafts also take more readily, even on somewhat poorer beds. The cosmetic results are generally inferior to those seen with full thickness grafts, however.

A skin cancer on the forehead of an elderly woman.

The defect after excision of the tumor with a rim of normal skin.

The healed full thickness skin graft reconstruction.


Skin Flap

This patient had a large skin cancer in the temple area.

This is the defect created by removing the tumor.

The right side of the face was raised and moved as a flap to close the defect.

This is the patient's appearance after healing.

2/21/00

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