Full-thickness Skin Graft Fixation Techniques: A Review of the Literature
JournalJournal of Cutaneous & Aesthetic Surgery
RightsCopyright: © 2020 Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery.
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Multiple techniques for skin graft fixation have been proposed, but the evidence underlying these techniques is unclear. This study aimed to review the literature for full-thickness graft fixation techniques. PubMed was electronically searched to identify relevant studies. The search strategy identified 91 relevant articles. These consisted of 2 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), 10 observational cohort studies (8 retrospective, 2 prospective), and 79 descriptive studies (case series, case reports, or expert opinion articles). Both identified RCTs compared the tie-over dressing against a modified tie-over dressing. The tie-over dressing was also included in all identified observational studies, and comparisons were made against quilting/mattress suturing (4 studies, 181 grafts in total), simple pressure dressings (3 studies, 528 grafts), non-tie-over dressings non-specifically (1 study, 71 grafts), hydrocolloid dressings (1 study, 62 grafts), and double-tie over dressings (1 study, 43 grafts). No significant differences were found between fixation methods for graft take, haematoma rate, and infection rate. No studies have found a significant difference between tie-over dressings and alternative graft fixation technique, with the most evidence for simple pressure dressings and quilting/mattress suturing. However, the evidence base consists mostly of small, retrospective observational studies. This article describes the current evidence base and this should be considered when planning future reports in the field.