Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 305–307 | Cite as

Ice Application to Minimize Pain in the Split-Thickness Skin Graft Donor Site

  • Mithat AkanEmail author
  • Aykut Misirlioğlu
  • Serkan Yildirim
  • Bariş Çakir
  • Gaye Taylan
  • Tayfun Aköz


Reconstruction of tissue defects with skin grafts is one of the most used processes in soft tissue defects. While any part of the body can be used as a donor site of split-thickness skin grafts, the posterolateral thigh is the most used one. Pain in the graft donor site may be the primary concern of patients in the postoperative period. Various kinds of donor site dressings and procedures have been described for this purpose. The main goal of this practice is the fast recovery of the donor site. Nevertheless, avoiding infection, decreasing the pain in the donor site, and minimizing the cost should be considered. To minimize pain in the graft donor site, ice pack application, used for its local anesthetic effect, was utilized for patients postoperatively in our clinic. Thirty-six patients were included in this study between June 2001 and May 2002. Patients were divided into two groups, with 18 patients in-group I, to whom ice was applied, and 18 patients in group II, which was specified as the control group. The patients were evaluated according to the pain in the graft donor site. The visual analog scale (VAS) was used to evaluate the pain of the patients. The data were statistically evaluated with the Mann–Whitney U test procedure. In addition to this, infections, recovery periods, and cost benefit effects were also determined. The mean pain scores in the graft donor site were found to be quite low in patients in the group with ice application (p < 0.05). No significant difference was determined between the two groups when their pain scales were compared on the fourth and the fifth days (p > 0.05). Ice can be safely used in patients for whom donor site pain is the primary concern, with advantages such as ease of application, low cost (almost free), and a significant decrease in pain in the donor site.


Ice Pain Donor site Skin graft 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mithat Akan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aykut Misirlioğlu
    • 1
  • Serkan Yildirim
    • 1
  • Bariş Çakir
    • 1
  • Gaye Taylan
    • 1
  • Tayfun Aköz
    • 1
  1. 1.Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Kartal Education and Research Hospital, IstanbulTurkey

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