Medicine: Grafting Problem

A British surgeon recently did a mastoid operation on a middle-aged man who had once been a sailor. He decided to graft some skin from elsewhere on the patient's body to the site of the operation, behind his ear. When the surgeon viewed the patient's body, he found it almost completely covered with tattooed images of naked women (one named Mary) and erotic designs. Last week in the Lancet, the surgeon, writing anonymously, told how he faced his problem:

"I was quite unable to decide whether tattooed skin could be grafted, and, if so,...

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