Function of the skin lymphatics as well as blood perfusion of a meshed transplant is crucial for the healing. The lymphatic regeneration and arterial perfusion of skin transplants after severe burns of the extremities had been studied in eight patients by microlymphography, laser doppler perfusion imaging and transcutaneous oxygen pressure measurements 1, 6 and 18 months after transplantation. One month after transplantation, only fragmented as well as many giant lymphatic skin vessels were present in the transplant. After 6 months a normal lymphatic network had developed in all grafts. The extension of the dye in the lymphatics decreased from 4.5 (0-16) at 1 month to 3.0 (1-6) mm after 18 months, indicating improved lymph drainage capacity. The permeability of the lymphatics in the graft was normal. After 1 month, median laser flux in the transplant was 155.6% (105-246%) of the normal skin but it normalised within 18 months. By contrast, transcutaneous oxygen measurement (TcPO(2)) increased from 44 (21-47) to 55 (50-76) mmHg. In meshed transplants used to cover severely burned skin morphological and functional normal lymphatics develop within 6 months and the initially increased laser flux due to inflammatory reaction normalises. Our results provide important insights into the healing process of skin transplants after burn.