Autologous fractional full-thickness skin grafting is a method of harvesting full-thickness skin with reduced donor site morbidity compared with conventional skin grafting.
To demonstrate that full-thickness skin microbiopsies can be harvested with minimal scarring or complications.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In a nonrandomized, self-controlled, pilot trial, subjects (n = 8) underwent tissue harvesting of full-thickness skin columns of 200, 400, 500, 600, 800 μm, 1, and 2 mm diameters. The extent of scarring was measured by using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale and blinded evaluation of photographs at 6 weeks postprocedure. Pain visual analog scale (VAS) and side effects were recorded.
When present, scars were first observed after 2 to 4 weeks, much more often for wounds >400 μm (p < .001). Blinded dermatologists increasingly identified clinical scarring on photographs with larger harvested microcolumn diameters (p < .001). Median VAS pain score was 0 (range 0–4). All subjects rated the procedure safe and tolerable.
Harvesting full-thickness skin microcolumns is well-tolerated over a wide range of column diameters. At diameters of less than 500 μm, side effects including scarring are minimal.