Usually in harvesting a full-thickness skin graft, we match color, skin thickness, and the presence of hair in the potential donor site with the recipient site to obtain as good an esthetic result as possible. Superficial skin texture is, in part, responsible for the esthetic result in facial reconstruction. Full-thickness skin grafts harvested from the supraclavicular region in 20 patients operated on for facial skin tumors and immediate reconstruction, were included in this study. The superficial skin texture was reproduced using a silicone cast technique; a polyvinylsiloxane derivative was used and it was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in order to detect and measure morphological features of the skin surface. The mechanism affecting superficial skin texture was studied to elucidate the importance of the superficial skin texture of the graft donor site and consequently the intraoperative orientation of the graft into the recipient area to improve the esthetic outcome. Our study shows that the forces of the recipient site are able to modify full-thickness skin graft dermis and as a result change the overlying superficial skin pattern. The graft always tends to change to the features of the recipient area after 24 months because of the environment of the new site. These findings suggest that color and thickness of the donor site still remain more important than intraoperative graft orientation in the recipient area in order to achieve good esthetic results in skin grafting.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 11, 2002
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