Dr Parker discusses Skin Grafts vs Skin Flaps following removal of Skin Cancer
Dr. Thornwall Parker: A lot of patients ask what's the difference between a skin graft and a skin flap. A skin graft is basically taking skin off of a different part of the body and using that in a different area of the body, for example, taking skin from behind the ear and using that to fix a hole on the nose. One of the advantages is it's a relatively easier procedure to perform. However, when the skin heals, a lot of times it looks like a patch of skin. The skin color can be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. The texture can sometimes be shinier or rougher than the skin. But sometimes it's the best option depending on the size of the hole and the location.
The skin flap is essentially rearranging the skin that's in that area. That's what we call a local flap, rearranging the skin. The advantage of doing a local flap is that we're using the same type of skin. We're taking skin, for example, on the nose and moving that skin around to fill the hole in. The skin is the same color, texture, thickness so it tends to blend in very nicely. The downside though is that we're making the scar usually longer in order to move the skin around.