Understanding Skin Grafts

Skin grafts are often necessary for difficult wounds that will not heal from the edges. Skin grafts are required for wounds related to cancer excision, traumatic injury or infections that leave open areas. These open wounds that do not heal can seriously encumber your life. Dressing your wound every day and multiple times a day for weeks or months or years often times is unnecessary if the skin graft is done properly.

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 closed with stitches and will heal up without an open area in 2 or 3 weeks.

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

Both of these 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 we use in our Hospital has an extra tube that allows the wound to be irrigated twice an hour with an antibiotic solution that we have standardized 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. We have the team of specialists including wound care internist, infectious disease doctors, cardiologists, pulmonologists and other specialists this work as a team in our Hospital to ensure that the wound heals and there are no other medical complications that can lead to failure. In many cases it is to your advantage to have a skin graft to your chronic open wound rather than endure the dressing changes for the remainder of your life.

We can see you and help you if you have a problem.  If you call our office or email us will be happy to help you.  You can include a photograph of your wound if you wish and we can tell you whether or not we can help 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!

Get started today!

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
2400 East Arizona
​Biltmore Circle, Ste 2450
Phoenix, AZ  85016

Phone: 602-212-0100
Fax: 602.279.1701

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.

Eyelid Tucks
Skin Cancers
Melanoma Treatment
Breast Augmentation/Lift
Breast Reconstruction

Terrible Wounds
Mohs Surgery Repairs
Infected Bone/Hardware
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