Published: 2020-08-27

In search of ideal donor site wound dressings

Dev Jyoti Sharma, Bharat Mishra, Chetna Arora


Background: Split skin grafting (SSG) is a commonly used reconstructive technique for wound cover. Donor site wounds (DSW) after split-skin graft harvesting are rather clean wounds. Depending on the thickness of the SSG, the DSW should re-epithelialize completely in 7 to 21 days. This study was initiated with a background to look for an ideal dressing for the management of DSW. Aim of the study was to compare efficacy of Cellulose acetate mesh, Collagen sheet, Hydrocolloid dressings and chlorhexidine tulle for donor site wound management after harvesting split thickness skin graft.

Methods: 100 patients with 100 donor site wounds were included in the study. Patients were randomized into four different groups of 25 each, depending upon the type of dressings used to cover the wound. Data regarding time to complete wound healing and pain at the donor site were recorded on visual analogue scale (VAS). Requirement of pain killers during post-operative period were recorded. Complications like infection or hyper-granulation were also recorded.

Results: The study included 72 males and 28 females. The primary objective was to observe the effectiveness of wound dressings in the treatment of DSWs and time to complete wound healing. In this context, collagen dressing was found to be the most effective in current study (p<0.07) and also the least pain was experienced by the patients where collagen dressings were used.

Conclusions: The study concluded that collagen dressings was best amongst the various dressings studied with average healing time of 9 days with least pain score over DSW.


Donor site dressings, Cellulose acetate mesh, Collagen sheet, Hydrocolloid dressings, Chlorhexidine tulle

Full Text:



Rakel BA, Bermel MA, Abbott LI, Baumler SK, Burger MR, Dawson CJ, Heinle JA, Ocheltree IM. Split-thickness skin graft donor site care: a quantitative synthesis of the research. Appl Nurs Res. 1998;11(4):174-82.

Wiechula R. The use of moist wound-healing dressings in the management of split-thickness skin graft donor sites: a systematic review. Int J Nurs Pract. 2003;9(2):9–17.

Ratner D. Skin grafting. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2003;22(4):295-305.

Hassanpour SE, Moosavizadeh SM, Yavari M, Hallaj Mofrad HR, Fadaei AR. Comparison of Three Different Methods of Dressing for Partial Thickness Skin Graft Donor Site. World J Plast Surg 2013;2(1):26-32.

Hannan EL, Radzyner M, Rubin D, Dougherty J, Brennan MF. The influence of hospital and surgeon volume on in-hospital mortality for colectomy, gastrectomy, and lung lobectomy in patients with cancer. Surgery. 2002;131(1):6-15.

Shervin N, Rubash HE, Katz JN. Orthopaedic procedure volume and patient outcomes: a systematic literature review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2007;457:35-41.

Mark K Wax, Mark K Wax, Amy L Pittman, Amy L Pittman, Tamer A Ghanem. Split-Thickness Skin Grafts. Medspace.

Syed Mahmood Ayaz, Manohar V Pai, B.K Shivaprasad Rai, Rahul R Bhat. Comparative Study between Collagen Dressing and Conventional Vaseline Gauze Dressing in Healing of Donor Site Wound in Split Skin Graft. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences. 2016;15(10):34-41.

Singh O, Gupta SS, Soni M, Moses S, Shukla S, Mathur R K, Collegen dressing versus conventional dressing in chronic wounds: A retrospective study. J Cutan Aesthet sugery 2011;4;12-6.

Davis JS. story of plastic surgery. Ann Surg, 1994;13:65-6.

Ramesh BA, Jayalakshmi BK, Mohan J. A Comparative Study of Collagen Dressing versus Petrolatum Gauze Dressing in reducing Pain at the Donor Area. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2017;10(1):18-21.