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Post Operative Care of Donor Site


The donor site is the place where the surgeon takes the skin to cover your open wound. Usually, it is the upper part of your thigh (but not always). When you leave the hospital, it will be covered with a large white bulky dressing. This dressing applies a small amount of pressure to the wound to help stop and residual bleeding. This bulky dressing stays on until the morning after surgery. The Skin Graft is a piece of skin your doctor took from your leg and placed over your open wound.

Post Op Day 1: This is the day after your surgery. Remove the bulky white dressing from your thigh (or where ever your donor site is). When you take off this dressing you will find a yellow gauze dressing stapled to your skin. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THIS DRESSING.

Leave this dressing open to the air all the time.

Take a blow dryer and set it on COOL and LOW and blow it on the yellow dressing for 15 minutes 3 to 4 times per day. You will continue this for at least 5 days or until the yellow dressing is completely dry.

You may not take a shower (or tub bath) until directed by your doctor (this may be a week or two). After your shower, towel dry the area if it got wet and then use the blow dryer for 15 minutes as directed above.

Problems That Can Happen:

  • The bulky dressing can fall down when you get home from the hospital! Re-wrap the area with a clean dry dressing and tape it to your skin once in the front and once in the back. Remember to take this bulky dressing off the morning after your surgery.
  • While the wound is wet, you may cover the yellow gauze at night with dry 4x4 gauze to prevent soiling your bed linen. However, remember to remove this gauze in the morning and use the blow dryer as directed above.
  • If the yellow dressing does not cover the entire open wound, call the clinic and speak to a nurse (734) 998-6022.
  • If the skin around the yellow dressing becomes red and painful, call the clinic and speak to a nurse (734) 998-6022.

Follow-Up Care at the Clinic:

  • You will return to the clinic in one week to have the staples removed from the yellow dressing.
  • Once the staples are removed, the edges of the yellow dressing start to dry and curl up. You can trim the curled up edges with small scissors.
  • As the tissue under the yellow dressing heals, you will see more curling up of the edges. Continue to trim away the curled up edges until the entire dressing is removed. This whole process usually takes a couple of weeks. Do not attempt to trim and yellow dressing that is still stuck to your leg.

For Medical Questions, Please Call:

  • (734) 998-6022, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • After hours and on weekends, call Hospital Paging at (734) 936-6267 and ask for the Plastic Surgeon on call.