MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skin flap on knee. Close-up of the knee of a patient showing a skin flap in place after the operation. A skin flap is a type of graft, but differs in that it uses blood vessels in the flap to connect to blood vessels around the transplant site. They are used instead of grafts in areas where a greater thickness of skin is needed, such as over bony prominences like the knee. They allow blood flow through the area immediately, as the vessels are joined together by microsurgery. The results are cosmetically better than those obtained with a skin graft, which can leave unsightly scars. Skin flaps generally heal with very little scarring visible.
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