Reconstruction for Palmar Skin Defects of the Digits and Hand Using Plantar Dermal Grafting

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Abstract

The plantar skin is considered suitable for skin grafting onto the volar aspect of the digits and hand. However, this method is not widely used because it is associated with problems at the donor site. To solve these problems, a new method was developed in which two different layers of the plantar skin are harvested from the same site. In this method, a split-thickness skin graft of the upper layer including the corneal layer of epidermis and a dermal graft of the lower layer are harvested from the same plantar skin. The split-thickness skin graft is returned to the original donor site, whereas the dermal graft is used for the palmar skin defects on the digits and hand. To prevent drying, the dermal graft was covered with a wound-covering material to achieve good graft takes. Reconstruction was performed for 17 patients using this method, involving digit-only reconstruction in 8 patients, and wider reconstruction in the other 9. Excellent color and texture match of the graft and donor sites were obtained with no noticeable marginal scarring, and the durability of the skin was satisfactory. This method was useful for skin grafting to the digits and palms with minimal sacrifice to the donor site.

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