Graft (surgery)

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Graft (surgery)

Grafting refers to a surgical procedure to move tissue from one site to another on the body, or from another creature, without bringing its own blood supply with it. Instead, a new blood supply grows in after it is placed. A similar technique where tissue is transferred with the blood supply intact is called a flap. In some instances, a graft can be an artificially manufactured device. Examples of this are a tube to carry blood flow across a defect or from an artery to a vein for use in hemodialysis.


Autografts and isografts are usually not considered as foreign and, therefore, do not elicit rejection. Allografts and xenografts may be recognized as foreign by the recipient and rejected.[1]

  • Autograft: graft taken from one part of the body of an individual and transplanted onto another site in the same individual, e.g., skin graft.
  • Isograft: graft taken from one individual and placed on another individual of the same genetic constitution, e.g., grafts between identical twins.
  • Allograft: graft taken from one individual placed on a genetically non-identical member of the same species.
  • Xenograft: graft taken from one individual placed on an individual belonging to another species, e.g., animal to human.

Types of grafting

The term grafting is most commonly applied to skin grafting, however many tissues can be grafted: skin, bone, nerves, tendons, neurons, blood vessels, fat, and cornea are tissues commonly grafted today.

The grafting process places fresh skin over a wound with damaged skin.

Specific types include:[citation needed]

  • Skin grafting – often used to treat skin loss due to a wound, burn, infection, or surgery. In the case of damaged skin, it is removed, and new skin is grafted in its place. Skin grafting can reduce the course of treatment and hospitalization needed, and can also improve function and appearance. There are two types of skin grafts:
  1. Split-thickness skin grafts (the epidermis and part of the dermis)
  2. Full-thickness skin grafts (the epidermis and the entire thickness of the dermis)


Reasons for failure

  • Hematoma development when the graft is placed over an active bleed
  • Infection
  • Seroma development
  • Shear force disrupting growth of new blood supply
  • Inappropriate bed for new blood supply to grow from, such as cartilage, tendons, or bone


  1. ^ Textbook of Microbiology, R. Vasanthakumari, p166, 2007, New Delhi, ISBN 978-81-7225-234-2
  2. ^ Le BT, Borzabadi-Farahani A (July 2014). "Simultaneous implant placement and bone grafting with particulate mineralized allograft in sites with buccal wall defects, a three-year follow-up and review of literature". Journal of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. 42 (5): 552–9. doi:10.1016/j.jcms.2013.07.026. PMID 24529349.
  3. ^ Rosing JH, Wong G, Wong MS, Sahar D, Stevenson TR, Pu LL (October 2011). "Autologous fat grafting for primary breast augmentation: a systematic review". Aesthetic Plast Surg. 35 (5): 882–90. doi:10.1007/s00266-011-9691-2. PMID 21455825. S2CID 13302250.
  4. ^ Asserson DB, Kulinich AG, Orbay H, Sahar DE (May 2019). "Differences in Complication Rates of Gluteoplasty Procedures That Utilize Autologous Fat Grafting, Implants, or Local Flaps". Ann Plast Surg. 82 (5S Suppl 4): S342–S344. doi:10.1097/SAP.0000000000001765. PMID 30570567. S2CID 58566838.
  5. ^ "Skin graft". NIH. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  6. ^ Strong AL, Rubin JP, Kozlow JH, Cederna PS (December 2019). "Fat Grafting for the Treatment of Scleroderma". Plast Reconstr Surg. 144 (6): 1498–1507. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000006291. PMID 31764674. S2CID 208277267.


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