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December 1931

THE IMMEDIATE CONTRACTION OF CUTANEOUS GRAFTS AND ITS CAUSE

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE
From the Surgical Department of the Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, Division of Plastic Surgery.

Arch Surg. 1931;23(6):954-965. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1931.01160120068004
Abstract

We have often noticed that there is a definite shrinkage in the size of free skin grafts immediately after being cut; this fact has also been recorded in the literature by other observers, but so far as we have been able to ascertain, no one has attempted to measure the exact amount of shrinkage or to compare this shrinkage in the different types of grafts. This report is the result of an investigation to determine the amount of contracture and to explain the probable cause.

In cutting grafts of different thicknesses we found that the shrinkage seemed to vary with the depth at which they were cut. For this reason we selected for measurement areas of skin of different thicknesses: whole thickness, half thickness, thick Ollier-Thiersch and thin or true Ollier-Thiersch grafts.

The whole thickness grafts included the whole thickness of the skin, excluding the hypoderm. The half thickness grafts

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