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Skin Graft Cost


Before a skin graft is done, the patient and the doctor must have detailed talks on what will be done, what are the chances of complete recovery, the dangers, the possible side reactions and the cost of the procedure. As skin grafts are done because the injured skin has no chance of healing itself, it is bound to be fairly expensive. If the donor skin is from the patient himself, the cost will be only of the surgical procedure, the surgeon’s fees, the hospitalization, the medicines and the consultations fees as well as the post operative ones. The cost depends also on the amount of grafting to be done, the size of the wound and the type of grafting used.

If the donor is another person whose skin is used only after proper matching to avoid rejection of the skin graft, then he may have to be paid. Sometimes, the donor may be a blood relation, in which case he may waive off any charges to be paid to him. But if the donor is a stranger who has offered his skin because of an appeal or an advertisement or a doctor’s request, he may charge some donation or honorarium.

Medical science has progressed and now many artificial skin products are available for skin burns or non-healing wounds which may be used in skin grafts. These artificial products may not be rejected by the patient’s body and may actually encourage the creation of new tissue. These artificial skins usually consist of synthetic epidermis and a collagen based dermis. The artificial dermis acts as a template for the forming of new tissue Nerve fibers, blood vessels, fibroblast, and lymph vessels from surrounding healthy tissues cross into this and eventually mix with these cells and build a dermis. The synthetic epidermis which may be a temporary barrier is replaced with an autograft or with an epidermis which is cultured in a laboratory using the patient’s own epithelial cells. Some cells from the patient’s body are scooped and taken to the laboratory. Here an artificial culture is prepared and the cells planted in them. If the medium used is suitable the cells multiply making an auto graft which can be used as a skin graft and the body will not reject this.

This synthetic product which resembles a skin costs about $ 1000 for a 100 cm (40inch) square piece of skin. This is in addition to the surgery costs, the surgeons’ fees, hospitalization etc. And this is covered by insurance.

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