Skin Donation After Tummy Tuck?

After bariatric surgery, there is a lot of excess skin that will need to be removed via Tummy Tuck. Can one donate this skin to a burn victim? 

Doctor Answers 9

Reasons Removed Excess skin from Body Contouring Procedures is not Used for Burn Patients

Regarding: "Skin Donation After Tummy Tuck?   After bariatric surgery, there is a lot of excess skin that will need to be removed via Tummy Tuck. Can one donate this skin to a burn victim? I heard it's possible"

We do not use the skin removed from massive weight loss patients for other applications for multiple reason:
1. there are cheaper and better alternative and more are coming along each ear.

2. Removing the skin off the skin and fat flaps and preparing it for storage costs time and labor. Currently, it is applied to the patient. Not many patients would be altruistic to donate a few hundred to a thousand extra dollars in addition to donating their skin. This would have to be changed.

3.current tissue bank regulations are very strict and few if any plastic surgeons are equipped or willing to put up with them. The donors must be tested for a whole set of disease (who pays for it?). The skin must be stored in a certain way in special dedicated refrigerators with numerous back up power sources (who pays for it?)
4. potential issues of patient compensation and privacy further cloud the picture.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tummy tuck: Save that skin AND fat as transplant donor

AT some point in the relatively near future this may be possible but there are a few issues at stake, One is economic. To make a biologic product availalble for tranplantation, the tissue must go extensive testing which can be cost prohibitive for a relatively small amount of skin. IF however, mutliple tisses are generated, then the costs may well be worth it as is the case with cadaver donors in which bone, corneas, livers, kidneys, skin, ext can be obtained. However the potential use of fat as a stem cell source may make this a more feasible undertaking.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tummy tuck skin donation

That’s a great idea, but at this time there aren’t enough resources to make this logistically possible. Perhaps in the future!

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Skin Donation After Tummy Tuck

Excess skin after body contouring is not currently being used for burn patients due to a combination of HIPAA  (privacy) issues, more cost effective alternatives, and tissue bank regulations.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Skin donation

Its a good idea, but as my colleagues have already stated.  There is nothing standardized that is available at this time.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 212 reviews

Skin donation following tummy tuck

Thanks for the question.

While the field of tissue engineering is making marked advances, at present most facilities are not capable of handling donor tissue for skin grafting. This may be possible in short course. For now, your tissue will most likely be disposed with hazardous waste. 

Warmest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Donating skin

Your right, it would be nice to donate your skin from a tummy tuck, but this is not a standard procedure at this point and sometimes under special situations they are used for research purposes.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Skin donation after tummy tuck

Great question!  But, unfortunately, there are only a few centers that can actually process the skin for use as a graft.  My recommendation would be to discuss this option with your surgeon and see what he/she says.

I hope this helps!

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Skin donation is possible after tummy tuck but under very special circumstances.

There are companies that use skin from operations for generation of various products.  This is very tightly controlled and only a few surgeons are specified as working with those companies. Random skin donations are not accepted.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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.