Pain-free cutting of split skin grafts by application of a percutaneous local anaesthetic cream

Br J Plast Surg. 1988 Sep;41(5):539-43. doi: 10.1016/0007-1226(88)90014-8.


The use of a novel percutaneous anaesthetic preparation for the pain-free cutting of split skin grafts has been assessed in a series of 80 patients, age range 12 to 96 years. The technique was completely successful in 80% of these cases, with complete analgesia established within one hour of initial application. Duration of anaesthesia was such that pain-free cutting of the skin was possible up to 5 hours after initial application of the preparation. Failures of the technique were largely attributed to a loss of anaesthetic potency in the preparation, application of an inadequate amount to the site or patient anxiety. The use of the percutaneous anaesthetic preparation was found to offer considerable advantages over conventional infiltration anaesthesia for this type of surgery. Several additional surgical applications of percutaneous anaesthesia are also considered.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ointments
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Tetracaine / administration & dosage*


  • Ointments
  • Tetracaine