Don’t Panic, There’s Many Solutions
Following a burn injury, the initial phase of treatment for burns will always be acute and sometimes plastic surgery for burns may be necessary.
If you have experienced this then you will have received some first aid, pain relief and maybe even a hospital stay to ensure that the burn healed as quickly and safely as possible.
Following acute treatments, the second phase of treatment for burns is reconstructive.
Reconstructive treatments are often, though not exclusively, concerned with rectifying the aesthetics of the burn site. They may also be required in order to aid mobility.
Once healed, you may well find yourself visiting a plastic surgery clinic seeking options relating to plastic surgery for burns.
As a treatment for burns, plastic surgery should never be thought of as a quick fix. Nor can we always expect that plastic surgery for burns will work miracles – not every burn site can be made to look exactly as it did prior to injury.
That said, reconstructive surgery for burns is an important part of the work carried out at any plastic surgery clinic.
So What Are The Options?
Perhaps the most widely known form of plastic surgery for burns is the skin graft.
During this procedure, carried out at a hospital or specialist plastic surgery clinic, skin is removed from one part of the body and transplanted to another.
Both the donor site and the transplant site are then dressed.
A split thickness graft involves just a few layers of skin being transplanted, whereas a full thickness graft, required for deeper burns, moves the whole of the dermis.
Recovery time can be just a couple of weeks for a split thickness graft but increases for a full thickness graft.
Another form of plastic surgery for burns is known as flap or free flap surgery.
During this procedure a piece of living tissue – skin, muscle or bone – is moved from one site on the body to another, along with the blood vessel that supplies it in order to keep it alive.
When used as a treatment for burns, flap surgery can reconstruct and restore function to areas that have lost skin, fat or movement of the muscles.
Tissue expansion involves a balloon being inserted under the skin which, over time, will cause the skin to stretch naturally, in a similar way to the way the skin of the stomach stretches during pregnancy.
Once enough extra skin has been grown it can be used to replace lost skin. The drawback of this method is that it can take months.
Where to Start When Seeking Plastic Surgery for Burns
You have plenty of options.
If you feel that you need reconstructive surgery then the best place to start is by finding a surgeon that you trust and visiting for a consultation.
Some or all of the above methods could be discussed but you should also be fully prepared for the fact that a good consultant may suggest something that you had never thought of.
It may not even be plastic surgery for burns that you need. A trusted consultant will have your welfare as their top priority, so open the conversation and see where it leads.