Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Skin, Hair & Nails

Get Email Updates

Skin, Hair & Nails Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Do You Have Excess Skin from Weight Loss? Donate It

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
Rate This

It seems sort of a waste to not do something with that excess skin from your waist if you want to have surgery to remove it. In 2007, Dr. Beverly Shafer must have thought the same thing when she asked her patient Nina Esile if she would be willing to donate the excess skin from her tummy tuck to the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF). The New Jersey tissue bank is the only living skin donor program in the U.S.

Traditionally, skin donation has come from donors who are deceased. The skin used is extremely thin, thinner than a piece of Kleenex, and is used to treat burn patients. However in recent years, doctors have begun performing more complex surgeries that require larger and thicker amounts of skin. Researchers have developed newer techniques to be able to use skin from live skin donors to fill this need. These larger pieces of skin can be used for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, for abdominal wall covering after a hernia repair as well as filling any larger gaps that have created deformities elsewhere in the body.

According to Martha Anderson of the MTF as reported to Boston.com, "Recipients do not have to take antirejection drugs for living skin or deceased skin, because we have taken the cells out," Anderson said. "We don't have to do blood-type matching, either -- none of the matching you have to do with organs."

The technique for handling and treating donor skin has continued to be perfected so that unwanted fat and other cells are removed before the skin is stored and frozen for donation. There is no charge for donating live skin and the National Organ Transplant Act prohibits selling or buying any donor tissue.

According to Cindy Gordon of MTF, currently, there are only 70 surgeons who are working with MTF on the program but the need for live donor skin has grown tremendously over that last few years. As of 2007, there were over 300 live skin donations performed but the number has risen to over 1,600 in 2009.

If you or someone you know is interested in donating their unwanted excess skin, contact the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation at mtf.org/donor/living_skin.html.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter

Hello Anon,

I am sorry the old links do not work but those are the links I used to write the article. If you go to the main site, www.mtf.org you can look around.

This is a link to their Q and A section

http://www.mtf.org/donor_faq.html

Same thing with the 3rd link. Go to their main page here

http://skindonation.in

Some news sites do not charge for archived article but apparently Boston.com does. Sorry.

Michele

July 28, 2014 - 8:12am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

The first three links listed as sources for this article are no longer valid and the fourth requires payment from non-subscribers to view the article. As a public service, this article should be updated or removed.

July 23, 2014 - 10:08am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1726 Health

Changed

648 Lives

Saved

512 Lives
2 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

When going out in the sun, what SPF do you put on?:
View Results