Arch Aesthetic Plast Surg.  2019 Jan;25(1):22-26. 10.14730/aaps.2019.25.1.22.

Patterns in the amount of discharge at split-thickness skin graft donor sites

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Split-thickness skin grafts (STSGs) are commonly used in the reconstruction of skin defects induced by trauma or burns. Although STSGs are used to successfully treat various wound types, donor site wounds can be challenging, and complications often develop. Therefore, optimal donor site dressings are required. In this study, we introduce an evidence base for patterns in how the discharge amount decreases over time, with the goal of providing insights into the selection of dressing materials.
Twenty patients with burns who received STSGs harvested from the thigh between January 2016 to April 2017 were prospectively reviewed. A donor site dressing with foam was changed daily. The weight of the foam dressing was measured before and after placement on the donor site. The wound area was calculated using Visi-Trak. The mean weight of the discharge amount per unit area (g/10 cm2) was calculated.
The mean weight of the discharge amount per unit area (g/10 cm2) decreased from 3.84 to 2.02 (P < 0.05) and 1.09 (P < 0.05) on postoperative days 5 and 10, respectively. It further decreased to 0.61 by postoperative day 14.
To prevent infections induced by donor site leakage, the use of highly-absorptive foam materials until 5 days after the operation is beneficial. Moreover, hydrocolloid or highly-absorptive foam materials can be used to promote re-epithelialization of the donor site after 5 days postoperatively. For re-epithelialization and wound protection, it is effective to use hydrocolloid materials starting on postoperative day 10.


Skin grafting; Tissue donor; Exudate
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