Skin grafting involves covering an area of missing skin with healthy skin tissue harvested from another part of the body. The aim of this clinical overview is to give a short introduction to the procedure.
Burns, scalds, trauma and cancer surgery can result in major defects in the skin that must be covered and reconstructed. The reconstructive ladder is a well-known principle within reconstructive surgery that arranges the various treatment strategies for skin defects in order of increasing complexity (Figure 1) (1). The idea behind this principle is to choose the most efficient treatment option, i.e. the best possible result with the simplest procedure. Examples of strategies are healing by secondary intention, vacuum-assisted closure therapy, primary closure, skin grafting, tissue expansion and flap surgery. Primary closure (2), tissue expansion (3) and flap surgery (4, 5) have been discussed in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association before. This clinical overview only deals with skin grafting. The article is based on plastic surgery textbooks, selected journal articles and clinical experience.