A free graft of full-thickness skin will live when sutured into a defect in the chest wall and the lung reexpanded. As far as we can ascertain from the literature this is the first time a full-thickness skin graft has been used to close a defect in the chest wall without placing the graft directly on the lung. Defects in the chest wall may result from radical resection of tumors or from trauma. Carcinoma of the breast or lung invading the chest wall or recurrent disease may require resection of a portion of the chest wall. If the defect extends into the pleural cavity the problem of an open pneumothorax exists and a flap of tissue must be made available to form an airtight closure.
Various methods have been devised in the past to repair defects in the chest wall. The opposite breast, muscle, and fascia were used by Maier
Dunavant WD. FULL-THICKNESS SKIN GRAFT IN THE CLOSURE OF A DEFECT OF THE THORACIC WALL. JAMA. 1955;159(12):1202–1203. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960290028006f