In the United States, a burn patient’s survival rate after receiving treatment is at 96.8%, according to the American Burn Association. While that might seem like an encouraging rate, most of these burn patients will have to live with serious life-long physical disabilities and limitations.
Burn victims struggle not just with the health implications of their condition, but they also face significant emotional and social challenges because of their burn scars. They may become increasingly self-conscious, easily embarrassed, withdrawn, or exasperated by the stares or questions they get from other people, according to a study in the journal Burns.
Reconstructive Surgery for Burn Patients
A burns plastic surgeon’s role in the wellbeing of burn patients is vital to the improvement of the quality of their life. By undergoing reconstructive surgery under the hands of an expert plastic surgeon, burn patients may get a good shot of returning to normality that they likely long for.
Reconstructive surgery does not take place immediately after the trauma doctors have worked on the burn injury. Plastic surgeons cannot work on the burn wounds until they have started healing or the scars have matured at roughly 6-12 months. For some patients, reconstruction cannot begin until a year and a half after the burn wounds have been treated.
At any rate, the surgeons will be able to evaluate the condition of the burn patient to decide on the proper time to do the reconstruction. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons over 16,000 reconstructive burn procedures have been done in 2016 alone.
Benefits of Reconstructive Surgery
For some patients, burn scars can result in the reduced function of the neck, hands, legs or other body parts because the burn has resulted in tight scar tissue. With reconstructive surgery, such a problem may be corrected to help the patient can regain or improve the range of motion
This procedure will not completely remove the scars but it can improve the patient’s appearance to make the burns less noticeable. If it’s facial scarring, reconstructive surgery can rework the person’s nose, lips, eyelids and even hair loss.
Depending on the patient’s condition, burns plastic surgeons may perform some of the following procedures for burn patients:
- Skin grafting
- Skin rearrangement (also called Z-plasty)
- Tissue expansion
Most reconstructive plastic surgery procedures are in-patient care, especially for larger burn scars. There are minor outpatient surgeries as well but this doesn’t happen often.
What to Expect After Reconstructive Surgery
Since there are many types of reconstructive surgery procedures, instructions for post-operative care will depend on the patient’s condition. However, healing is a crucial process for all burn patients after the reconstructive surgery. It is, therefore, important to be diligent about follow-up check-ups and return visits to the doctor, especially during the first few days when the skin graft dressing needs to be replaced.
After two weeks, the stitches might already be removed. The doctor might advise additional treatment in the form of physical therapy or occupational therapy, which can take months for a full recovery.
Learn more about Dr. Zaydon – Acclaimed burns plastic surgeon
Removal of burn scars can improve a patient’s self-confidence and wellbeing. If you are looking to get your burn scars removed, you should make sure that a qualified plastic surgeon will be performing the operation.
Dr. Thomas Zaydon is a highly qualified expert witness plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He founded the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami and has over twenty years of experience in the field.
If you would like more information on burn scar removal, don’t hesitate to Contact Us or call us at (305) 856-3030. Our friendly and approachable staff will be more than happy to assist you.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.