Skin being harvested from the abdomen with a dermatome.

Types of Wound Closure:
Skin Grafts

Skin grafts are used only when the wound cannot be closed by direct approximation. They are usually classified as split-thickness or full-thickness. Split-thickness skin grafts (STSGs) include the epidermis and some portion of the dermis. Full-thickness skin grafts (FTSGs) include the epidermis and the dermis.

Choice between them is based on the wound to be closed. Thin grafts take more easily and can be used on questionably reliable surfaces; thicker grafts maintain a more normal appearance and are particularly useful where a desirable cosmetic outcome is required, eg, the face.

Video Resource: Burns - Total Care and Management, Michael Madden, M.D., Jerome Finkelstein, M.D., Michael Marano, M.D., 1988 (VHS 30 minutes) available from Ciné-Med's ACS/USSC Educational Library (Integumentary System)


graft application
Split thickness graft is applied to debrided burn wound.

15 days post-op
15 days after wound coverage. Epithelialization is evident between the interstices of the graft strips.