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plastic surgery expert witness plastic surgery for scars miami

Essential Questions to Discuss with your Plastic Surgeon

You already have an appointment with your plastic surgery expert witness. Now you are thinking what questions you should ask before the process begins. Many patients feel embarrassed when it comes to their concerns, but thoroughly understanding everything is important. It is an authority given to the patients to ensure their safety and to gain trust for their surgeon.

There are many factors to consider when making important decisions, especially when it comes to surgery. You have to obtain full knowledge of your surgeon’s skills, experience and credentials.

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So, we have listed the essential questions that should be discussed with your plastic surgeon prior to the surgery.

  • What does it mean to be a board certified plastic surgeon?

Plastic surgeons who are board certified  are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This indicates that a surgeon has completed highly specialized training and is committed to perform excellence in his field. This allows surgeons to operate in accredited medical facilities following the given code of ethics in handling their patients. You can verify your surgeons at abplsurg.org, but also do consider that there are other certifying boards and medical societies, which you can look for.

  • How many successful procedures have you done already?

It’s essential to know how experienced your plastic surgeon is when it comes to performing your chosen procedure. It’s typically better to work with a surgeon who has successfully completed that procedure in the past. Often people don’t really have the guts to ask this question because they think that it is rude. But, that’s the only way for you to learn about this. And to give you a guarantee that you are in the hands of an experienced surgeon.

  • Are there any alternatives to my plastic surgery?

At times surgery is not the only way for you to achieve your desired results. There are now several non-surgical procedures and treatments that you may consider. Most plastic surgeons will provide you with other considerable alternatives along with the risk and benefits that come with it.

  • What are the things I need to do to prepare for my surgery?

You can specifically ask about the things you should do to prepare yourself for the surgery. Some surgeons require losing weight, not smoking or drinking alcoholic drinks, following a specific diet plan or some medication intake. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s direction for a successful surgery.

  • What are risks and complications associated with this surgery?

It’s important to discuss potential risks and complications with your surgeon. This is to give you an overview of what can happen after the surgery. Your surgeon is responsible for disclosing this information with you, to ensure your comfort, safety and clarity in decision-making.

Remember that it is important to ask your plastic surgeon these questions to achieve the results your desired results in a safe way. Through these questions you will also be able to evaluate your surgeon before making an final decision.

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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 provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Miami burns expert

Different Types of Burns: Thermal, Electrical and Chemical

Every day the risk of sustaining a burn is around us – it can either happen at home, in the workplace or even in public areas. As a matter of fact, burns are considered to be one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. A severe case of burns causes the skin cells to die and requires extensive medical attention for a long period of time. On the other hand, minor burns can be treated with a cream and heal within several weeks.

It is important to understand the types of burns and their classification to know when it’s time to seek medical help. Miami burns expert have listed the information you need to know about the different types of burns.

Different types of burns

Thermal burns

A thermal burn happens when you have touched something that is hot. It typically comes from flames or fire, explosions, hot liquids or steam, and hot objects like cooking pans, irons or heated appliances.

The treatment for thermal burns solely depends on how severe the burn is and which area of the body is affected. Moderate to severe burns need immediate medical attention. It is important to call 911 to receive proper care. For first aid tips you can take these steps:

  • Make sure to put out any fire or flames and immediately stop contact with heated objects.
  • Make use of cold water to cool down the area that was burned. Cooling with ice is not advisable as it may damage the skin.
  • You can apply a cool, wet compress for mild burns to relieve the pain. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen is also advisable. This would further heal the burned area.
  • It is applicable to apply a loosely sterile bandage or sterile cloth to the burned area for severe burns. Do not remove the loose skin or pop the blisters. Burns expert in Miami advise people to seek medical help for proper treatment especially if the burn is severe.

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Electrical burns

Electrical burns occur when the body comes in contact with a live electric current. When that happens, you may be injured due to the strong jolt entering your body because the systems of our body is not resistant to electricity.

Electrical burn injury is commonly caused by contact with a worn away extension cord. Low-voltage electrical burns can occur in the mouth, which usually happen to young children when they accidentally place non-insulated cords in their mouth. To avoid this, create a safe environment for your children, make sure your electrical cords are stored away in a safe place.

Electrical burns may be visible on your skin if the electric current runs through your body. Severe electrical burns need immediate medical care as they can affect internal tissues and muscles. These may cause several negative effects to your health.

Chemical burns

A harsh irritant, such as, acid, causes chemical burns. They occurs when your skin or eyes are exposed to chemical substances like:

  • Strong cleaning products
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Chlorine
  • Battery acid

You can do these first aid steps if you experience chemical burns:

  • Thoroughly rinse the burned area with running water for about 10 minutes.
  • If it occurs in the eye, wash it for 20 minutes to remove the chemical residues.

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For severe chemical burns, call 911 or consult a burns expert. You can recognize a severe burn by these symptoms:

  • The chemical burn is larger than three inches
  • It occurs on areas such as face, hands, feet, groin or buttocks
  • The burnt person is experiencing a severe pain after taking some over the counter pain relief medication
  • Your major joints are affected

Medical treatment for chemical burns may include:

  • Wound care and removal of dead skin or tissue
  • Administering IV fluids to regulate body temperature and to speed up the healing process
  • Topical or oral antibiotic medications to prevent infection build up
  • Skin grafting. This procedure is the process of covering the burned area with healthy skin taken from another area of the body

Severe cases of these types of burns need immediate medical treatment. You can consult our burns expert in Miami who specializes in treating different types of burns and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery for Burns – Further information

Thomas Zaydon, M.D. is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in reconstructive surgery, including the treatment of burns. In addition to treating burns, he also frequently serves as a Plastic Surgery Consultant, Expert Witness, Expert Medical Advisor, provides IMEs, and Peer Reviews.

Contact us today for more information. Call us directly at (305) 856-3030 or visit our website www.drzaydon.com

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 provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

 

scar tissue

6 Ways to Remove a Scar by Plastic Surgeon Thomas Zaydon, M.D.

Introduction

Most of us have – or know someone who has – a scar. They can be created by a variety of factors, including an acute injury (e.g. a dog bite), a medical condition (e.g. acne), by  burns, or by surgery. Depending on the severity of the scar, it may be more (or less) visible. What is also important is the location of the scar. A large scar on your face is considered to be much more noticeable than a scar on your back, for example. 

This blog post walks us through the type of scars which can occur, as well as 6 ways to remove them or at least reduce their severity. This process is known as ‘scar revision’.

4 Types of Scar

Did you know that there are 4 main types of scar?  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons categorizes them as follows:

  1. Discoloration or surface irregularities (subtle scars, the least severe type)
  2. Hypertropic scars (more severe, usually scar tissue formed at the wound site)
  3. Keloids (larger than hypertropic scars and may appear anywhere on the body)
  4. Contractures (as the name suggests, they contract the skin, restricting movement)

How to remove a scar?

As per the infographic below, there are 6 main ways to remove a scar:

5 Ways to Remove a Scar 4 - 6 Ways to Remove a Scar by Plastic Surgeon Thomas Zaydon, M.D.

1. Chemical peels

If your scar is not too deep – that is to say only affecting the upper layers of the skin – then this may be a suitable procedure. It works by causing the epidermis to peel off, so in effect exfoliating the skin. Then new skin will grow back, ideally leaving the scar less noticeable than it previously was.

2. Dermabrasion

Similar to chemical peels, this procedure is most appropriate for scars which are not too deep. The process, similar to exfoliation, uses a dermabrasion machine to remove the top layers of the skin (where the scarring is), subsequently leaving the undamaged lower layers of the skin, resulting in a ‘polished’ or untainted appearance.

3. Fill injections / soft tissue

This procedure is considered most appropriate for indented scars. In other words, scars which do not stick out, but instead are indented into the skin. Collagen or other suitable fillers are used to literally ‘fill the indentation’, subsequently raising it to the level of the rest of the skin, thus making it less noticeable.

4. Surgical scar revision

This is the process of surgically removing the scar and then rejoining the layers of skin and is known as ‘excision’. It cannot totally remove the scar, but can decrease the length or width of a scar. Closure of the resulting surface would is known as a “simple” closure. Layered closure is used where the excision extends to tissue below the skin surface or in areas with a high degree of movement. This first step, or layer, requires a sub-dermal closure (below the skin surface) with absorbable or non-removable sutures. Layers of closure continue to build, concluding with closure of the remaining surface wound.

5. PRP

PRP offers an opportunity to promote not just the speed of healing of scars, but also the degree of their healing. As a result, this can reduce the severity of scars, meaning a better (less visible) outcome. Read more about PRP for scars.

6. Laser Revision

Lasers, various energies and types can be used to lessen scar tissue; the type of laser depends on the age and quality of the scar as well as the skin pigmentation. Regardless, best case scenario, scar’s can be improved but rarely fully removed. 

About Thomas Zaydon, M.D.

Dr. Zaydon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Zaydon serves as an expert witness on liability cases around the country. He has reviewed many cases and has served as an expert witness for both the plaintiff and defense. He is sought as an expert witness in these cases because of his experience and fairness. Read more about Dr. Zaydon’s role as a plastic surgery expert witnessPlastic Surgery Expert Medical Advisor, or about Plastic Surgery Peer Reviews and Plastic Surgery Independent Medical Evaluations.

plastic surgery expert witness, Plastic Surgery Expert Medical Advisor,

New study reveals 5 determinants of plastic surgery litigation cases

Introduction

A new study has revealed that not all litigated plastic surgery cases have an equal chance of ruling in favor of the defense or plaintiff. The study identified at least five different determinants which increase the chances of ruling in favor of one side or the other.

About the study

The study, titled ‘An Analysis of Malpractice Litigation and Expert Witnesses in Plastic Surgery’ (2017), was conducted by Paul Therattil et al. and reviewed 93 litigated plastic surgery cases from the Westlaw legal database. It analyzed them according to expert witness testimony, procedure type, alleged injury, and verdict, among other factors. Correlations were then drawn between these factors, in particular which of them led to rulings in favor of the defense or plaintiff.

What are the 5 determinants of litigated plastic surgery cases?

The following correlations were found:

1. Cases involving body contouring are more likely to rule in favor of the defendant

14% of the cases reviewed involved body contouring procedures. Of these, the majority of them were won by the defense side.

2. Cases involving breast surgery are more likely to rule in favor of the plaintiff

34.4% of the cases reviewed involved breast surgery procedures. Of these, the majority of them were won by the plaintiff side.

3. In general, rulings are more likely to be in favor of the defense

Out of the 93 cases reviewed, over 65% ruled in favor of the defendant.

4. Cases in which the plaintiff complained of pain or emotional distress were more likely to rule in favor of the plaintiff

In cases where the plaintiff reported symptoms of pain (14%) or emotional distress (11.8%), the ruling was more likely to be in their favor. Conversely, cases in which plaintiffs did not report such symptoms resulted in (on average) a ruling in favor of the defendant.

5. The parties which engaged plastic surgery expert witnesses were more likely to win

Perhaps it’s obvious, but the study found that the parties which engaged the expert witness services of a plastic surgeon were more likely to win. With regards to plastic surgery expert witnesses, the study stated:

“Expert witnesses serve as a critical part of the litigation process in medical malpractice cases, providing insight into the judge and jurors who may be unfamiliar with both the medical and specialty-specific aspects of the case. The concept of the expert witness within a field such as plastic surgery, where outcomes might be considered more subjective than in other surgical fields, has been a point of debate. Some have gone so far as to suggest having anonymous physician surveys to replace plaintiff expert witness testimony because of the high stakes and pressure to perform for paying clients” (Therattil et al. 2007).

Other interesting facts unearthed by the study

  1. Around 13% of plastic surgeons have open litigation cases against them.
  2. California (26.9%), New York (18.3%) and Massachusetts (7.5%) were the most litigious in terms of having the highest share of cases.

About Dr. Zaydon’s role as a Plastic Surgery Expert Witness

Dr. Zaydon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Zaydon serves as an expert witness on liability cases around the country. He has reviewed many cases and has served as an expert witness for both the plaintiff and defense. He is sought as an expert witness in these cases because of his experience and fairness. Read more about Dr. Zaydon’s role as a plastic surgery expert witness, Plastic Surgery Expert Medical Advisor, or about Plastic Surgery Peer Reviews and Plastic Surgery Independent Medical Evaluations.

expert witness plastic surgeon

Study reveals that parties who engage a Board Certified Plastic Surgery Expert Witness are more successful in litigation

A study by Therattil et al. (2017) has revealed that those engaging in plastic surgery lawsuits are more likely to win their case if they have a Board Certified plastic surgery expert witness. It also revealed a growing number of lawsuits, plus that defendants have a greater success rate than plaintiffs.

Who did the study?

The study, entitled “An Analysis of Malpractice Litigation and Expert Witnesses in Plastic Surgery” was conducted by 5 authors: Paul J. Therattil, MD, Stella Chung, BA, Aditya Sood, MD, MBA, Mark S. Granick, MD, and Edward S. Lee, MD. It was published in the Open Access Journal of Plastic Surgery.

How was the study conducted?

The team reviewed legal cases from the Westlaw legal research database (Thomson Reuters, New York, NY), collecting all information regarding cases involving plastic surgery malpractice litigation. After removing duplicates, a total of 93 cases were included in the study. The cases were then coded according to categories such as year, whether the ruling was in favor of the defendant or plaintiff, and whether expert medical testimony was provided, among others.

What were the findings?

The study yielded several interesting findings:

1. The number of plastic surgery lawsuits is rising

Per the authors:

“The rate of malpractice litigation continues to increase yearly. Plastic surgeons are at especially high risk of facing malpractice claims, with recent studies demonstrating that the proportion of plastic surgeons facing malpractice claims each year is 13%.” (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5638964/)

It should be noted that this is the third highest with only neurosurgeons and cardiovascular surgeons being more likely to be sued.

2. Defendants were more likely to win

Out of the 93 cases reviewed, 61 ruled in favor of the defendant, 22 in favor of the plaintiff, and 10 resulted in settlement.

3. The average settlement for plaintiffs was over $1,000,000

In the 22 cases where the ruling was in favor of the plaintiff, the mean award was $1,036,469. The lowest award was $10,697 and the highest was $4,500,000.

4. The most litigious states (in terms of plastic surgery cases) were California and New York

Almost 27% of the cases were filed in California, 18% in New York, and 7.5% in Massachusetts. Florida was further down the list with 5.4% of cases.

5. The majority of cases were about breast augmentation

Over a third of all cases were about breast augmentation. In second place was liposuction (18.3%), then body contouring (14%), then facial rejuvenation (11.8%).

6. The higher the h-index of the plastic surgeon expert witness, the greater the chance of winning

Interestingly, defendants were more likely to engage plastic surgeons with higher h-indices. This perhaps explains that the defendants won more cases than the plaintiffs. H-index refers to the frequency and impact of an author’s publications. In other words, the higher the quality, and frequency, of publications by the plastic surgeon, the higher the chance of winning the case.

7. Board Certification makes a difference

The study also found that the defense was more likely to contract with plastic surgery expert witnesses who were Board Certified (82.9%), whereas plaintiffs were less likely to do so (64.7%). In other words, it seems that engaging with a Board Certified plastic surgery expert witness coincides with a great chance of winning the case.

What are the implications?

To summarize, it seems that, to increase the chances of winning a plastic surgery lawsuit, it is best to engage a Board Certified Plastic Surgery Expert Witness.

Further information about Dr. Thomas Zaydon, Plastic Surgery Expert Witness

Dr. Zaydon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Zaydon serves as an expert witness on liability cases around the country. He has reviewed many cases and has served as an expert witness for both the plaintiff and defense. He is sought as an expert witness in these cases because of his experience and fairness. Read more about Dr. Zaydon’s role as a plastic surgery expert witness, Plastic Surgery Expert Medical Advisor, or about Plastic Surgery Peer Reviews and Plastic Surgery Independent Medical Evaluations.

SESPRS, plastic surgery consultant

Dr. Zaydon awarded “Best Presentation” award by peers

Thomas J. Zaydon, Jr. M.D. FACS, has been awarded best presentation at Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons meeting.

As per the meeting host:

It is our pleasure to inform you that your presentation titled “Filler Injection Tissue Ischemia, Avoiding Intravascualr Anatomy, Loss of Vision after Filler, Filler Crash Cart” has been selected as the highest ranked member paper presentation at our recent 61st Annual Scientific Meeting in Palm Beach, Fl.

The presentation was the highest ranked “Member Paper”. Dr. Zaydon will be presenting the topic once again at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting in Chicago in September.

About Dr. Zaydon

Dr. Zaydon is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgery with over 20 years of experience. He treats the following patients: burns, nasal fractures, facial fractures, open wound, skin ulcers, scars, ruptured/displace breast/body implants. He has hands on experience with difficult catastrophic cases including severe burn victims. He is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Mercy hospital, he is the former President of the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons and former President of Miami Society of Plastic Surgeons. He serves on the board of trustees for the Southeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and active member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. He serves on the review board for a major insurance company that reviews doctors malpractice insurance claims. He reviews cases/authorizations for a large worker’s compensation carrier. He has worked with plaintiff and defense firms. Doctor Zaydon has impeccable credentials and has privileges at 11 major hospitals/ASC facilities. Read more about Dr. Zaydon’s role as a Plastic Surgery Expert Witness or as a Plastic Surgeon for Burns in Miami.
Plastic Surgery Prices plastic surgery for scars miami

Laser Treatment for Scars: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask

If you have ever had a scar, then laser treatment is something you may have considered. But – as with any procedure – it’s good to do your research before proceeding. The aim of this article is to do exactly that. It will answer basic questions such as “What is laser treatment for scars?”, “What are the benefits?”, “What are the side effects”, and “What are the alternatives?” By the end of this article you will have a comprehensive understanding of the basics of laser treatment.

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What is laser treatment for scars?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons defines laser treatment as the use of lasers to…

“…send short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This removes unwanted, damaged skin in a very precise manner one layer at a time.”

Put simply, the lasers burn away the damaged layers of skin. It may seem counterintuitive to burn away scars, in particular if the scar is from a burn itself, however the fact is that lasers are so precise, that only the unwanted layers of skin are targeted. Furthermore, this process stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal.

Are there different types of laser?

In short, yes. There are two main types of laser:

1. Ablative laser

The word “ablative” comes from the Latin “ablativus” which means “to take away”. In other words, this type of laser removes layers of skin. Examples of ablative lasers are the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and the erbium laser. (Source: Mayo Clinic).

This type of laser can be of particular use in treating wrinkles, as it causes a minor burn, subsequently prompting the skin to heal itself. The resulting new lasers of skin are tighter and smoother than before, diminishing the appearance of winkles (Source: Phoenix Society).

  1. Non-ablative laser.

As the name suggests, this type of laser does not remove layers of skin. By contrast, this laser stimulates skin and collagen growth.

What are the benefits of laser treatment?

There are many benefits to laser treatment. First and foremost, it can reduce the visibility of scars, as well as minimize scarring. Scar prevention further of abnormal scarring can possibly be achieved when laser treatment is performed prior to scar formation, thus “pre-empting” the appearance of the scar.

Second, it can reduce scar pain and itching. Third, by reducing scarring, it can increase the range of motion. Of course, this only applies to scars which were limiting movement (Source: American Academy of Dermatology).

How effective is laser treatment?

Laser technology has improved greatly over the years. To quote an academic study:

Over the past decade, refinements in laser technology as well as advances in laser techniques have enabled dermatologic surgeons to define the most appropriate lasers to use for different scar types without the adverse sequelae and recurrence rates noted with older surgical revision techniques and continuous wave laser systems.” (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14716440)

However, as with any procedure, the outcomes will depend on a variety of factors. The experience and training of the surgeon is, of course, essential. Knowing which type of laser to use, in which circumstances, and when, are all vital decisions, so having an experienced surgeon will help to ensure the right decisions are made.

For example, non-ablative lasers are more appropriate during the development phase of scars, whereas different types of laser are more appropriate after scar maturation.

What are the side effects of laser therapy?

Extreme side effects are very rare, however short term side effects occur. These include:

  • Sensitivity to the sun (this is why it is recommended for patients to avoid sun exposure post treatment);
  • Redness, swelling, or itching;
  • Infection;
  • Changes in skin color.

(Source: The Mayo Clinic)

Because of this, it is strongly recommended that an appropriately trained and qualified surgeon is chosen. This will help to reduce the chances of negative side effects.

Are there any alternatives to laser therapy?

There are several alternatives to laser therapy. These include chemical peels, filler injections, surgical scar revision, and dermabrasion. Read more about scar treatment options.

The correct choice for you will depend on your type of scar and specific circumstances. An experienced and well qualified plastic surgeon can help you make the correct decision.

Further Information about Plastic Surgery for Scars in Miami

If you are looking for a plastic surgeon for scars in Miami, then you may want to consider Dr. Thomas Zaydon. Dr. Zaydon has many years of experience removing and reducing the appearance and symptoms of scars and scar tissue. Read more about Dr. Zaydon in his role as a plastic surgeon expert witness, workers’ compensation plastic surgeon, or Contact Us.

plastic surgery expert witness plastic surgery for scars miami

What can be done to Prevent and Treat Burns?

Introduction

According to the American Burn Association, almost half a million patients go to the Emergency Room for burn treatment in the USA each year. These injuries range from relatively mild burns to more severe burns and even death (there are on average 3,400 burn related deaths in the USA per year). Despite such high figures, information about the costs of burns to society, healthcare organizations, and the economy, is hard to find. This article aims summarize some of the information which does exist, and to provide a brief overview of the causes, costs, treatment, and prevention of burns.

What are the main causes of burns?

Of the 3,400 annual burn related deaths, around 2,550 can be attributed to residential fires, 300 to vehicle crash fires, and the remaining 550 from a variety of other causes, such as electrical burns (American Burn Association). Looking at these figures, it appears that most burn deaths (and presumably injuries too) occur in a domestic setting, as opposed to a commercial or work-related setting.

What are the costs?

When it comes to the costs of burns, this has to be broken up into several categories. Depending on the severity of the burn, there may be acute and non-acute treatment costs, psychological and social costs, as well as costs to the economy in terms of damaged property and lost work-time. This data is not easy-to-find, however, there are a few studies which shed some light on this. In terms of healthcare, in an international study of burn victims in high-income countries (such as the USA), the average cost per burn victim was $88,218.

This cost was supported by a Canadian study which found the average cost of healthcare to be around $84,678. It should be noted that these costs are usually the cost of acute treatment. The cost of post acute care can raise the figure even higher. This includes post acute treatment such as scar review consultation and treatment, surgical procedures, and psychological therapy.

In terms of costs to the economy, there are two main costs. First and foremost, the lost work-time can quickly add up. This includes not just burn victims themselves, but also any other family members (or friends) who take time off work to take care of them. This is especially common in the case of child burn victims, who require one of their parents to take time off work. Second, any property or equipment destroyed during the accident also adds to the overall cost. According to the aforementioned Canadian study, the total cost of residential fires in Canada alone came to a staggering total of $7.6 billion over a 14 year period.

It should be noted that this is just the cost of residential fires, and just for Canada. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the total cost of all types of burn in the USA, which has a considerably larger population than Canada, must be far greater.

What type of burns exist?

When someone says the word ‘burn’, we most commonly think of thermal burns i.e. burns caused by heat. This can be dry heat, such as from a flame or fire, or it can be wet heat, from steam. However, there are three other types of burn. Two of them are quite common: Electrical burns and chemical burns. As the names suggest, the former is caused by electricity, while the latter is caused by strongly acidic or alkaline substances. However, there is also a third (less known) type of burn: Radiological burns. This final type of burn is much rarer and is caused by radiation.

Burns can also be categorised in terms of their severity. The least severe is known as a ‘first degree burn’, which refers to a reddening of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). ‘Second degree burns’ are when the dermis is affected, which is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis. The most severe type of burn is a ‘third degree burn’ which is when even the tissue below the dermis is affected.

First Aid for Burns – How should burns be treated?

Quick treatment of burns can reduce their severity. The American Burn Association provides the following first aid advice:

  • Stop the burning process: cool the burn with running cool (not cold) water for at least 5 minutes, but do not use ice, as this may cause further skin damage;
  • Do not over cool! If the victim starts to shiver, stop the cooling process.
  • Administer an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain control. Follow the directions on the label. Consult a physician or health care provider if pain is not relieved.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage or clean cloth.
  • Wrap the burned area loosely to avoid putting too much pressure on the burn tissue.
  • Minor burns will usually heal without further treatment.

Read the full list of First Aid advice by the American Burn Association.

Can Scarring be Treated?

Scars can be undesirable for several reasons. Obviously, from a visual perspective, they can create a certain amount of self-consciousness, especially if they are in a very visible location, such as the face. They may also have some physical symptoms, such as itchiness or pain. So that leads us to the question: Can plastic surgery remove scars? The answer is “yes, but not entirely.”

Plastic surgery can reduce the size of a scar, however it cannot totally remove it. This is because the process of removing a scar cannot return the skin to its original state. A scar – by definition – is permanent damage to the skin following an injury or surgery. However, procedures are constantly improving, so the degree to which scars can be made less noticeable are increasing year-on-year.

Plastic surgeons have a range of surgical and non-surgical methods to reduce scarring. These include:

  • Chemical Peels. If your scar is not too deep – that is to say only affecting the upper layers of the skin – then this may be a suitable procedure. It works by causing the epidermis to peel off, so in effect exfoliating the skin. Then new skin will grow back, ideally leaving the scar less noticeable than it previously was.
  • Dermabrasion. Similar to chemical peels, filler injections, dermabrasion, and surgical scar revision. The most appropriate treatment option will depend on the specific circumstances and condition of the scar.
  • Filler Injections / Soft Tissue Fillers. This procedure is considered most appropriate for indented scars. In other words, scars which do not stick out, but instead are indented into the skin. Collagen or other suitable fillers are used to literally ‘fill the indentation’, subsequently raising it to the level of the rest of the skin, thus making it less noticeable.
  • Surgical Scar Revision. This is the process of surgically removing the scar and then rejoining the layers of skin. It cannot totally remove the scar, but can decrease the length or width of a scar.

The choice of treatment option will depend on the specific circumstances and condition of the scar.

How can we Prevent Burns?

Something everyone agrees on is that prevention is the best solution. Considering that the majority of burns occur in domestic settings, it makes sense for people to learn – and practice – fire safe habits in the home. The American Burn Association provides a variety of guidelines, such as “stand by your pan” (referring to closely watching your cooking to avoid fires), carefully disposing of used cigarettes, and ensuring electrical outlets are safe to use. The key to this is education, which is why events such as “Burn Awareness Week” are such a good idea.

Conclusion

The cost of burns is extremely high, both in terms of a dollar amount (healthcare and lost work-time costs) and also psycho-social costs (lost friends and family members / permanent disability). This is why prevention is the best solution. However, when burns do happen, then it’s important that patients are given the best possible medical treatment. This includes not just acute treatment, but also post-acute treatment including the removal of scars to help return patients to their original pre-burn condition.

About the Author

Dr. Zaydon is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgery with over 20 years of experience. He treats the following patients: burns, nasal fractures, facial fractures, open wound, skin ulcers, scars, ruptured/displace breast/body implants. He has hands on experience with difficult catastrophic cases including severe burn victims. He is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Mercy hospital, he is the former President of the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons and former President of Miami Society of Plastic Surgeons. He serves on the board of trustees for the Southeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and active member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. He serves on the review board for a major insurance company that reviews doctors malpractice insurance claims. He reviews cases/authorizations for a large worker’s compensation carrier. He has worked with plaintiff and defense firms. Doctor Zaydon has impeccable credentials and has privileges at 11 major hospitals/ASC facilities.

Read more about Dr. Zaydon’s role as a Plastic Surgery Expert Witness or as a Plastic Surgeon for Burns in Miami.

American College of International Physicians

How to pick a qualified plastic surgeon

Finding a plastic surgeon in Miami is easy. However, finding a qualified plastic surgeon in Miami can be a totally different story. The point is that there are many plastic surgeons to choose from, but the level of service and surgery you receive from them may differ quite considerably. So, as a patient, how can you make sure you choose a plastic surgeon who gets you the best possible outcomes? This article aims to give you a few tips about what to look for.

 

In order to choose a qualified plastic surgeon you should look for the following 3 things:

1. Qualifications

Perhaps this is obvious, but the surgeon you choose should be well qualified. Official qualifications are an indication that the doctor has met a list of objective medical standards created by an impartial organization. Plus, remember that not all qualifications are equal. One of the most recognized certifications is the Board Certification. As a plastic surgeon, he/she should be Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. Another good qualification to look out for is being a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. This is usually indicated by having the letters “F.A.C.S.” after the doctor’s name.

2. Affiliations

The type of organizations and hospitals, which the doctor is affiliated with, are usually a good indication of the level of professionalism of the doctor. Being on staff with the leading hospitals in the area is a great endorsement: Doctors are required to meet a number of standards in order to be chosen, so being on staff with these hospitals likely means that this doctor is of a good standard. Secondly, look closely at the affiliations the doctor has. Is he/she affiliated with well-respected organizations? Such organizations may be the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Florida Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American College of International Physicians, among others.

3. The Recommendations of other Physicians

Doctors who work with other doctors usually (over time) get a good understanding of the type and level of care provided by other doctors. This is why recommendations by doctors can be a helpful source of information when choosing a plastic surgeon. So be sure to ask your Primary Care Physician – or other doctors – to recommend a qualified plastic surgeon.

About Thomas Zayond, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Zaydon is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also Certified by the former President of the Florida Society of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery and the Greater Miami Society of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. He has extensive experience serving as a plastic surgery expert witness, Plastic Surgery Expert Medical Advisor, and is regularly asked to provide Plastic Surgery Peer Reviews and Plastic Surgery Independent Medical Evaluations.
Read more about Dr. Zaydon.