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Evaluation of Soft Tissue Defects’ Reconstruction Using Flaps or Skin Grafts

Keywords: defect , skin graft , flap , plastic surgery , skin

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Background. Removal of damaged tissue and organs followed by replacement with appropriate substitutes was a long- lasting tendency since the ancient times. Skin defects of any aetiology, can be replaced either with skin grafts or flaps. Skin graft or skin transplant is a skin patch completely detached out of a donor site, having no blood vessels to nourish, neither nerve supply to innervate. Its survival, in general, depends on the quality and vascularisation of the recipient site. On the other hand, skin flap refers to a tissue segment that covers the defect, but in the contrary to the skin graft, keeps its original blood supply. Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate both reconstructive methods (replaced either with skin grafts or flaps) in two distinct periods – within 7 – 10 days and secondly, about 30th day after surgery.Material and Methods. This study comprises 1512 patients with soft tissue defects, treated on Clinic for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in period of 6 years (2001 -2007). Patients are divided in two groups. First group that consists of 774 patients was treated with skin flaps. In the second group that consists of 738 patients, skin grafts were utilized. Results. We compared the two groups in several parameters: colour, elevation/depression of the flap/graft, sensibility, aesthetic outcome and duration of patients’ hospitalization. The results are presented. Conclusion. As conclusion, it can be pointed out, that skin flaps are preferable and first method of choice when covering skin defects regarding the better results in all criteria that were estimated and compared.


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