The goal of tissue grafting is to restore the structure and function of the damaged or missing tissue. For example, skin grafting may be used to cover a wound or burn, while bone grafting may be used to support a broken bone or to fill in a defect. Cartilage grafting may be used to repair damaged cartilage in the knee or other joints. Tendon or ligament grafting may be used to repair, reinforce, and reconstruct damaged connective tissues.
Skin grafting involves taking a thin layer of healthy skin from one area of the body, called the donor site, and transferring it to another area of the body, called the recipient site, that has been damaged or lost skin due to injury, burns, surgery, or other conditions. The grafted skin is typically held in place by sutures or staples, and will eventually attach itself to the recipient site and begin to grow new blood vessels. There are different types of skin grafts, including split-thickness grafts (which only take the top layer of skin) and full-thickness grafts (which take all layers of skin).
Fat grafting involves taking small amounts of fat from one part of the body, such as the thighs or abdomen, and injecting it into another part of the body, such as the face, breasts, or buttocks, to add volume and improve contour. The fat is typically processed and purified before being injected in small amounts using a syringe. The procedure can be used to fill in wrinkles, hollows, and scars, or to enhance the size and shape of certain body parts.
Nerve grafting surgery is a specialized procedure that involves the transplantation of a section of nerve tissue from one part of the body to another in order to restore function to a damaged or severed nerve.
Nerves play a crucial role in the functioning of the body, allowing signals to travel between the brain and other parts of the body. When a nerve is damaged, it can result in loss of sensation, movement, or both. In some cases, the nerve can be repaired by directly reattaching the two ends. However, in cases where the damage is too extensive or the nerve ends cannot be reconnected, nerve grafting may be necessary.
During nerve grafting surgery, a section of healthy nerve tissue is harvested from another part of the patient’s body, usually from a sensory nerve in the leg or arm. The harvested nerve is then carefully transplanted into the damaged or severed nerve at the site of injury. The nerve graft is usually held in place with sutures or special glue, and the patient may need to wear a splint or brace to immobilize the affected area during the healing process.
Bone grafting surgery is a procedure that involves the transplantation of bone tissue from one part of the body to another, or from a donor source, in order to repair or rebuild bone that has been damaged or lost due to injury or disease.
Bone is a complex tissue that plays a critical role in the structure and function of the body, providing support and protection for organs, and allowing for movement and flexibility. When bone is damaged or lost, it can lead to a range of problems, including pain, instability, and deformity.
During a bone grafting procedure, a section of healthy bone tissue is harvested from another part of the patient’s body, and transplanted to the site of the damaged or missing bone, and may include a blood supply that is attached with microsurgical techniques in the new location. Alternatively, bone tissue can be obtained from a donor source, such as a cadaver, or a synthetic or animal-derived source.
The transplanted bone tissue is usually held in place with screws, plates, or other fixation devices, and the patient may need to wear a cast or brace to immobilize the affected area during the healing process. Over time, the transplanted bone tissue will fuse with the existing bone, creating a strong and stable structure.
At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons provide tissue grafting surgeries to patients from over a 50,000-square-mile catchment area via Northern Arizona Healthcare, the only Level 1 trauma center north of Phoenix.
Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.