The morbidity of split-skin graft donor sites in the elderly: the case for mesh-grafting the donor site

Br J Plast Surg. 1984 Apr;37(2):184-90. doi: 10.1016/0007-1226(84)90008-0.


An impression that the healing of split-skin donor sites in the elderly is significantly prolonged compared with that in younger patients was confirmed by retrospective and prospective clinical studies. Possible explanations are discussed. In a prospective clinical trial of 20 consecutive patients over the age of 60 part of the donor site was covered with a meshed skin graft leaving the remaining unmeshed area as a control. In all patients the mesh-grafted area was healed in 10 days while the control "unmeshed" area demonstrated the same morbidity we had noted in patients over 60 in our retrospective study. It is suggested that the mesh grafting of small split-skin donor sites in the elderly can accelerate the rate of healing and significantly reduce the demands on hospital and community resources.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Surgical Mesh*
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Healing*