Understanding Skin Grafts


Skin grafts are often necessary for difficult wounds that are unable heal from the edges on their own.  Such as in the cases for an excision of cancer, a traumatic injury or an open wound. Or other circumstances that leave the area open to infection for prolonged periods of time.

Skin grafts aim to cover areas that would otherwise take months or even years to heal on their own and would otherwise would seriously encumber your life.

Patients often come to me with wounds that have failed dressing changes, antibiotics elevation and various graft substitutes done in non-surgical wound care clinics. A skin grafted wound properly done should be able to take and heal your wound with a high percentage after just 2 weeks. Not every wound is a candidate for a skin graft, but the majority are.

Full-thickness skin grafts take the full thickness of skin from some part of your body and place it on your wound.  Generally, this area, where the skin has been harvested, is properly closed with stitches and will heal quickly within in 2 or 3 weeks.

A split thickness skin graft is when a graft is taken with a machine called the Dermatome that takes 12,000ths of an inch from the outer layer of your skin. The donor site then heals, scabbing and drying out over the next month.

Both techniques work very well but should be individualized depending on what kind of wound you have. Dr. Jacobsen uses a wound VAC device which you may have had before.  The wound VAC used in our Hospital has an extra tube that allows the wound to be irrigated twice an hour with an antibiotic solution to maximize the take of the graft and minimize infection.

We have very strict rules and very strict postoperative care requirements that have led to a very high healing rate. 

At the hospital we have a very educated team of specialists including: Wound Care Internist’s, Infectious Disease Doctors, Cardiologists, Pulmonologists and other specialists to ensure the wound heals and no other medical complications arise that can lead to failure. In many cases it is to your advantage to have a skin graft for a chronic open wound. Reducing the amount of healing time and dressing changes to the site. Rather than endure dressing changes that can carry on for the remainder of your life.

Our office is here to help. If you have a difficult or persistent skin condition please call or email us and we will be happy to help you.

To help accelerate the process please feel free to take advantage of the Inquiry Tool located to the right. Including a photograph of your wound and, or a short-written description of your condition. We will be happy to tell you whether or not we can heal your wound with a skin graft.

Dr J and his staff look forward to understanding the details of your unique case, desires and aspirations, and to providing you with realistic, safe and attainable results that leave you looking beautiful, and truly feeling like yourself. Take the first step toward your healing or rejuvenating procedure with Dr J by filling out our contact form to request a consultation, or to inquire about any of the services we offer. We look forward to treating you!


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  • review rating 5  Dr Jacobsen performed surgery on the back of my leg to remove melanoma, I also had a sentinel lymph node biopsy at the same time. Dr J is professional, knowledgeable and very dedicated to patient care. I had to have the lymph node incision drained several times and he got me in quickly and also worked around my hectic schedule. He even came in while he was on vacation! He was always so reassuring and very kind. Dr J goes above and beyond! His office staff is very responsive and they are so pleasant to work with. I am grateful to have been referred to Dr J and his office😌

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    7/22/2019
  • review rating 5  I didn’t know what to expect at first.. but Dr. J answered all of our questions we had when we went in. He was so friendly and welcoming and so was the staff. Everyone there was amazing. I got all my questions answered so quickly with email. My surgery went great and I went in for my first Post op appt yesterday... I couldn’t be happier with the experience. Dr. J is absolutely amazing and I would recommend him to everyone given the chance.

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    6/12/2019
  • review rating 5  Recently had surgery with Dr. J and I can not express my gratitude. The office staff is so kind and caring, paying very close attention to each patient, and incredibly considerate. Lovely and comfortable waiting area and very short wait times to be seen. I highly recommend Dr. J!

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    9/09/2019
  • review rating 5  Incredible does not begin to describe Dr. J and his amazing staff! From my first consultations to any questions I had post op, I was treated like I was the only patient. Dr. J is a true professional who cares about his patients. Without hesitation, I highly recommend Dr. J!!

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    3/10/2019
  • review rating 5  Dr. Jacobsen and his entire office staff was a great experience for me. I was referred to his office after my MOHS procedure that left my face in worse shape than I had hoped for. It was a drive across town for me and it was well worth it. I was concerned about the state of the open wound on my face and desired the best outcome possible, I was worried. From the moment I stepped into his office I felt at ease. Several things impressed me with Dr. Jacobsen and his office staff. First and foremost was the ease of communication both directly in office and submitting documents and photos via his website and/or email. The ability to reach out to and get a response from the doctor 24/7 is so nice. Each person I spoke to was helpful and was mindful and sensitive to my needs. Dr. Jacobsen was great, he was very personable, very easy to talk to you, he answered all my questions, and was confident in his skill. I truly felt it was a blessing to be referred to and treated by Dr. Jacobsen. Lastly, Dr. Jacobsen's office is beautifully designed and decorated and includes WIFI, these little things all help with setting the right environment. I left Dr. Jacobsen office in far better shape than when I arrived. His many years of experience is evident in his work.

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    7/30/2018
  • review rating 5  So pleased with my whole experience! I thank everyone for making me feel good about myself again and being fantastic through my whole experience!

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    3/12/2019
  • review rating 5  Dr J is the best! I have an ongoing issue with a medical implant that he has cleared up several times. Every time I contact him he is right there. This last time he actually met me on a Sunday to help me. I highly recommend Dr J. His bedside manner makes you feel that no matter what everything will be okay.

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    7/14/2019
  • review rating 5  Hi Dr. J ., Tracy, Ashley, Kimberly and Susan- I came back to your surgical practice as I was very pleased with previous results. I find again a very caring atmosphere and staff and I am excitedly anticipating future results of your excellent technical expertise. Waiting to hear from you regarding the rest of the repair work yet to be done. Happy New Year and Happy Blessings to all of you! Thanks so much, Lisa Bishop

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    1/06/2018
  • review rating 5  Very upper class. Beautiful surroundings, beautiful people. Very tranquil. Highly recommend.

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    3/16/2018
  • review rating 5  My dad is the best Dad. Do not try to tell me otherwise please and thank you.

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    2/18/2019

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Dr J and his staff are committed to providing you with exceptional and compassionate care. On behalf of our entire team, we invite you to request a consultation to talk to Dr J about your goals, expectations and aspirations. We can’t wait to find out how our 20-plus years of experience in cosmetic and functional plastic surgery can help change your life, and make you a happier, healthier person.

Dr. William Jacobsen
Plastic Surgery
2525 East Arizona
​Biltmore Circle, Ste C236
Phoenix, AZ  85016

Phone: 602-212-0100
Fax: 602.279.1701
info@drjsoffice.com

Our Procedures & Treatments

Dr J considers every surgery an opportunity to express his vision with his patients, and believes in natural, beautiful results that leave you feeling confident and beautiful, but most importantly, feeling like yourself. From extremely rare and complex surgical cases, to cosmetic surgery, Dr J has the experience, compassion and understanding to help you achieve your surgical goals.

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