A skin graft is a piece of skin that is removed from one area of the body and transplanted, or attached, to another. Skin grafts are often indicated for the treatment of skin loss from infection, burns, venous and arterial insufficiency ulcers, pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers and very large wounds.
Skin grafts are performed by taking healthy skin from a place on the body called the donor site. Most people who are having a skin graft have a split-thickness skin graft, which usually includes the two top layers of skin (the epidermis) and the layer under the epidermis (the dermis). The harvested skin is transferred to the wound being treated and held in place by a wound dressing, staples or small stitches. Extremely deep tissue loss may require a full-thickness skin graft, which takes the entire thickness of skin from the donor site, not just the top two layers.