Will my skin flap change color at all? (photo)

I had a skin flap taken from my calf and applied to my face. It is a much darker color than my face skin, but also a much darker color than my leg skin. Will this ever change or is it just something that will always be that way? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Consider tissue expander

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Lykens: I am sorry to see you had quite a facial injury with what looks like a free flap reconstruction.  The skin color is not likely to change significantly at this point. One option is to have a tissue expander placed which can stretch the neck skin and provide enough skin to essentially replace the skin from your calf. This process takes a couple of months during which you will look unusual but it might be worth it.  It would thin the density of your beard in that area as one downside. The other option is something called serial excision where gradually small strips of the calf skin are removed and it is sewn up again until all of the calf skin has been removed, but I think this area is so large it would be difficult to completely replace all the calf skin without causing some facial distortion, even if it is done slowly.  A facial plastic surgeon should be able to help you. Best of luck.

Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Beard Transplantation or Tissue expander procedure

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
There are two options for your case.

The first one is a beard transplantation which is an easy procedure and if the grafts will be transplanted thickly the bald area will get a good density. You have to wait for 12 month to see the result.

And the second option is a tissue expander procedure.

With this treatment we expand an area (supraclavicular area) at your neck and this will be inflated for 2 month.After two month a second operation would be necessary to transfer the expanded skin on your injury.

Ozge Ergun, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Will likely stay the same

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This flap color will likely stay the same.  Leg skin does not have the same color or ability to blush as does facial skin.
To even it out you would need new skin graft from somewhere above the clavicle as a replacement.
The donor site would show also, so you are in a difficult situation.
Sorry for your difficulties.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.