Skin Grafting

Wound Care and Foot & Ankle Specialist located in Mission Viejo, CA

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Skin Grafting

Skin grafting is a crucial treatment for foot, ankle, and leg ulcers that are severe or fail to heal, leaving an open wound that serves as a breeding ground for bacteria. To close your wound, Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, at Foot Ankle Leg Wound Care Orange County in Mission Viejo, California, performs skin graft surgery. You can depend on Dr. Rambacher’s expertise as a foot and ankle surgeon and wound care specialist to produce the best possible results. Call the office today or request an appointment online to see if you may need skin grafting.

Skin Grafting Q&A

When would I need skin grafting?

Skin grafts cover an open wound with biologic, synthetic, or biosynthetic materials that replicate the properties of your normal skin. Skin grafting serves to:

  • Create a barrier 
  • Prevent infection
  • Close the wound
  • Relieve pain
  • Hold in moisture
  • Support skin function and healing

You may need skin grafting if you have a non-healing or infected diabetic foot ulcer or an ankle or leg wound caused by venous or arterial disease.

Are advanced wound care products used during skin grafting?

Skin grafts come from two sources: your own body and advanced wound care products. Dr. Rambacher offers both, recommending the one that works best for healing your wound.

Advanced wound care products bioengineered skin grafts (skin substitutes) offer a vast array of choices.

Skin substitutes can be produced from living cells (human skin cells or collagen cells from animals), synthetic substances like silicone, or a combination of both.

When using living cells, specialists place the cells in a supporting substance, and add growth factors and proteins. As a result, the cells grow into a bioengineered skin substitute.

Some skin substitutes have their cells removed, leaving a natural biologic scaffold that supports healing. Others are produced to include natural healing cells. Bioengineered skin grafts can also be infused with substances that support wound healing and may be permanent or temporary.

What happens during skin grafting?

Skin grafting, one of the most common surgical wound care procedures, requires several steps. Dr. Rambacher begins with surgical debridement to thoroughly remove all of the dead, damaged, and infected tissues inside the wound.

While debriding the wound, he determines whether the bones below your skin have been damaged. If he discovers bone involvement, he uses another advanced wound care product: a bone graft.

Bone grafts may come from donated human bone with living cells or synthetic bone substitutes containing growth factors. Dr. Rambacher places the bone material against the bone, where it promotes bone growth and healing. Then he covers your wound with the skin graft.

If you’re donating a skin graft, Dr. Rambacher applies an anesthetic and removes the donor patch. By comparison, skin substitutes are ready to be used. Skin grafts and permanent skin substitutes grow new blood vessels and naturally connect with the skin around your wound.

To learn more about skin grafting, call Foot Ankle Leg Wound Care Orange County or request an appointment online today.