Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have weight-loss surgery, helping them to lose excessive amounts of weight. Although a huge step in getting healthy, this extreme weight loss causes skin to become looser, forming large flaps that have been stretched from areas formerly occupied by fat. Because of improved medical technology, scientists have discovered a way for patients to donate their unwanted skin for what is called “live skin transplants.” The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, one of the nation’s largest tissue banks, provides transplants for people with severe burns or people with cancer-related skin loss. Choosing to donate excess skin is a simple process that will go a long way to helping people in need.
Discuss with your surgeon your interest in skin donation. Speaking with your doctor is important; he or she may not recommend skin donation for you. The doctor can also give you tips and other information about the process of skin donation.
Have your doctor contact the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation at 800-581-2804, or call them yourself. A MTF surgical coordinator will be able to discuss skin donation details and schedule a medical assessment. If you would like to contact MTF online to see if you are eligible for skin donation, proceed to the next step.
Fill out the form provided in the Resources link to see if you are eligible to become a skin donor. If you haven’t undergone reconstructive surgery yet, make sure to indicate that your surgery has been scheduled. Make sure you have your surgeon’s name and phone number available. An MTF surgical coordinator will contact you in a few days.