In one or more regions of the body the skin is removed and transplanted over an existing skin defect. The following methods are available:
Only the superficial skin layers are transplanted. The advantages of this method are quick healing and a superficial donor defect. The drawbacks of this method are that split-thickness skin is less robust than full-thickness skin and that the scar shrinks more easily and often leads to differences in color and texture with respect to the surrounding skin.
In this technique all layers of the skin are used for transplantation. Full-thickness skin requires a longer duration to heal because it is thicker and the nourishing vessels from recipient bed need time to grow into and sufficiently supply the transplanted region with blood. This type of transplant is much more robust, does not shrink as extensively and results in a better color match.
The donor sites are preferably on "hidden" areas on the body can either heal spontaneously (split skin) or can be closed with suture (full-thickness skin), resulting in a linear scar.