Skin grafting is a surgical procedure in which healthy skin is removed from one part of the body and attached to another part of the body that was damaged by burns, trauma, infection or disease. While skin grafting has been done for centuries, first recorded around 600 BC in India, most modern skin grafting has been done in the past century and a half. Since the 1870s and 1880s, the depth of the donor skin has been recognized as a major factor in healing. Back then surgeons would freehandedly remove the skin using a knife, the depth of the donor skin controlled by varying the angle of the knife. Starting in the early 1900s, various knives with attached guards that could be calibrated in order to more accurately measure the depth of the donor skin were used. In 1939, a semi-cylindrical calibrated dermatome was invented by Dr. Earl Padgett and George J. Hood. Until this time, only expert plastic surgeons would be able to cut skin grafts, but now any trained surgeon was able to do so. This was a major advancement in the treatment of wounded soldiers during World War II. Since then various technological advancements have improved the accuracy of the dermatomes surgeons use today.
Today’s market size shows the projected total revenue earned from the global sales of skin grafting instruments and supplies in 2018 and 2023. According to the source, the skin grafting market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 12.29% over this time period. As bioengineered skin and skin substitute technologies become more advanced, the need for skin grafts using a person’s healthy skin may diminish for some applications. In 2015, the top three companies developing bioengineered skin and skin substitutes were MiMedx, Organogenesis and Integra LifeSciences.
Geographic reference: World
Year: 2018 and 2023
Market size: $3.8 billion and $6.8 billion, respectively
Sources: “Global Skin Grafting Market Forecasts to 2022 – Total Market Size to Reach US$6.825 Billion by 2023 – Research and Markets,” BusinessWire Press Release, December 15, 2017 available online here; “Skin Graft,” MedlinePlus, December 21, 2017 available online here; Faisal Ameer, Arun Kumar Singh, and Sandeep Kumar, “Evolution of Instruments for Harvest of the Skin Grafts,” Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, January-April 2013 available online here; “Dermatome (instrument),” Wikipedia, March 4, 2017 available online here; and “U.S. Market Shares 2015: Bioengineered Skin & Skin Substitutes,” MedMarket Diligence, May 7, 2017 available online here.
Image source: Adapted from “Set, Skin Graft, Instruments,” International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Emergency Items Catalog, January 1, 2011 available online here.