Skin grafts for leg ulcers
During this treatment, a small piece of skin is grafted from another area of your body onto a leg ulcer.
What happens during skin grafting?
Skin grafts are usually performed under local anaesthetic. After the area is numb your leg ulcer will be thoroughly cleaned. Another area of your body will also be numbed and cleaned. This will be the donor site for your skin graft.
A special tool will be used to slice a small piece of skin from the donor area. This fresh skin will be placed on your leg ulcer. Special compression dressings will be applied to keep the graft in place and the area clean. Your donor site will also be dressed. You may be asked to wear a compression stocking during the day.
Going home after skin grafting
Your stay in hospital will depend on the size and location of your skin graft. Once you are home you will need to elevate your leg as much as possible for the first week. This will encourage healing. Take any pain medication as prescribed. Wear your compression stocking during the day as prescribed.
You may experience slight bleeding or discharge from your donor site. You do not need to change your dressing unless it is leaking.
You will have an appointment one week after your skin graft to have your graft site and donor site accessed and redressed.
It can take up to 6 weeks before the final result of your skin graft is known.
As with any procedure there could be complications including:
Specific complications from skin grafts:
- Graft does not work
- Skin discolouration
- Irregular skin surface
- Decreased sensation at the graft site
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