What do I need to know about this procedure?

Removal of part of the body skin, which is diseased or damaged, and a skin graft applied to the defect. The skin graft will come from another part of the body. This may require the use of a skin knife to collect the skin.


This procedure will require an anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure. They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.

Specific risks:

  • The skin graft may not take. This may require further surgery.
  • It might not be 100% successful, any percentage from 0% to 100%- can be viable.
  • Blood and fluid may build up under the graft and may need removal.
  • The skin graft may not look like normal skin. This may be permanent.
  • The colour of the grafted area may be different from other parts of the skin.
  • The donor area for the graft may:-
  • Discharge blood stained fluid which may need to be drained
  • Be slow to heal
  • Be thickened or discolored in the final healed area and may look different
  • The wound may not heal properly and can become red, thickened and painful. This can be disfiguring.
  • Increased risk in smokers of wound and chest infections, heart and lung complications and thrombosis.