Skin grafting involves the taking a thin (split thickness) layer of skin from another part of the body and placing it over the injured area. Skin flap surgery involves moving an entire thickness (full thickness) of skin, fat, nerves, blood vessels, and muscle from a healthy part of the body to the injured site. These techniques are planned when a considerable amount of skin has been lost in the original injury, when a thin scar will not heal, and when improved function (rather than aesthetic reasons) are the primary concern. Secondary procedures may later be necessary to achieve appropriate aesthetic results.
Review Date 6/23/2021
Updated by: Tang Ho, MD, Associate Professor, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.