Split skin thickness graft lower leg 2 yrs ago not completely healed?

I had a split skin thickness graft to a venous ulcer on my lower leg which was later diagnosed as squamous cell, so I had the graft, went well, but it seems that a small piece of graft did not take. There is a definite ugly raw hole there and of course the colour of my skin is bad. (purple in that spot) It has filled in nicely, but not sure if that little hole is ever going to close?

Doctor Answers 3

Skin Graft Healing Process

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It will ultimately fill in with new skin from the sides of the wound. When a portion of a graft does not take but most of it does (as it sounds in your case), there will generally be a good end outcome, and even the location where it failed will re-epithelialize over about a 6-8 week period. Keep the area moisturized with either Vaseline or Aquaphor, and this should heal well over time. Typically however, wounds on the legs take longer to heal than in locations higher up on the body, as there is some swelling in the lower parts of the body over the course of walking during the day, and circulation is generally not as good in the lower legs.

Graft not closing two years later

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If you have a skin graft that isn't closing at 2 years out, you need an in-person exam. The skin edges have healed at this point so there is no way for it to close unless a re-excision is done and it's sutured. The color concerns me as well because you may not be getting good blood flow there. Please make an appointment to see your dermatologist or surgeon.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

Skin graft healing for venous ulcer/squamous cell cancer

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Did you have the squamous cell cancer treated? A graft is not a treatment for a skin cancer, which often requires surgical removal. Grafts can be done following surgical treatment. I would make sure you had the skin cancer treated first. A nonhealing area can be a sign of persisting cancer or just poor circulation so you really should followup with a dermatologist.

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 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.