According to the National Safety Council, occupational injuries and accidents happen every seven seconds, which accounts for at least 510 injured workers per hour. These work-related injuries can range from simple muscle strain to fractures and dislocations, resulting in at least 21 days of disability and loss of productivity.
Unfortunately, not all injuries can be treated in a span of 21 days, especially if the accident left you physically scarred and disfigured. But such work-related traumas do not have to become a permanent fixture on your body. There’s a way to treat your injury to return you to your pre-injury appearance — and that is through plastic surgery.
Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery is not all about nose jobs (rhinoplasty) and breast augmentation procedures. A significant part of the practice focuses on reconstructive surgeries to fix medical defects and injuries caused by work-related accidents.
In fact, plastic surgery is covered by workers’ compensation benefits as part of your treatment plan following a work-related injury.
Common work-related injuries that require plastic surgery
Some accidents may leave you physically disfigured either due to the accident itself or the healed surgical wound. Scarring and disfigurement can also cause pain and loss of function, affecting your ability to work and enjoy a quality life. Fortunately, this can easily be solved with the help of a workers compensation plastic surgeon experienced in reconstructive surgery.
Some of the most common workplace injuries that may be treated and corrected using plastic surgery include the following:
Burns refers to a skin and tissue injury caused by the transfer of heat or overexposure to radiation or certain chemicals. Studies suggest that 45% of reported burn injuries occur in the workplace, and 20% of burn-related hospitalizations were due to thermal burns at work.
Burn injuries can inflict severe damage to the skin cells and tissues一from the superficial layers down to the fats, muscles, nerves, and bones underneath. Symptoms, such as pain and swelling, can be felt immediately upon contact with the heat source. There may also be blistering, peeling, and charring of the skin that may differ in severity depending on the duration of contact.
There are many types of work-related burn injuries depending on the heat source. This includes the following:
- Thermal burns or scalding – are injuries caused by hot liquids, such as boiling water, grease, open flames, and explosion.
- Electrical burns – these happen when high voltage electricity comes into contact with the body, thus causing heat burn injuries within the tissues.
- Chemical burns – when strong and corrosive chemicals come in contact with the skin or eyes. Chemical burn injuries usually happen in laboratories, manufacturing, and industrial companies.
Severe burns require immediate burn care, surgery, and skin grafting. There may also be additional therapy and medications to encourage fast healing and recovery.
After they have healed, complex burns usually need reconstructive surgery to reduce scarring and restore their function and appearance. Plastic surgery for burns may include dermabrasion, laser treatment, and scar tissue revision.
Cuts, gashes, and lacerations
According to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Ohio, 30% of work-related injuries involve cuts, gashes, and lacerations. These injuries are characterized by the tearing of the skin or soft body tissues ranging from superficial abrasions to deep puncture wounds and amputations.
Work-related accidents that result in minor cuts and wounds may only require first aid treatment. However, severe lacerations may need medical repair and reconstructive surgery to improve function and movement. Some examples of injuries that definitely require medical attention include:
- A cut with a depth of more than ⅛ to ¼ inch
- Laceration exposes the muscle, tendon, or bone.
- A deep gash that damages the nerves
- Cut located in a high-stress body area such as joints and chest.
Anyone can experience animal attacks, but some jobs can put you at a higher risk than others. Some examples include animal control officers, veterinarians, postal workers, and emergency responders.
Injuries from an animal attack should be met with immediate medical care to prevent infection or exposure to rabies. Severe injuries require surgical repair and reconstructive surgery later on to correct the disfigurement. Some examples of injuries that you may sustain from an animal attack include bite wounds, lacerations, puncture wounds, nerve damage, severe scarring, and disfigurement.
Permanent scar or disfigurement after surgical procedure
Any type of workplace injury that requires surgery has a significant chance of leaving a permanent scar on the affected body area.The resultant scar tissue can cause disfigurement on the body part and impair its function.
For example, a deep injury on high-stress areas, like the fingers, will likely lead to scarring as the wound heals. Unfortunately, this scar can compromise some abilities of the finger joints, such as their range of motion and flexibility.
This is why most workers’ comp doctors recommend patients undergo plastic surgery to repair such impairment and bring back normal function and mobility.
How can a workers’ compensation plastic surgeon help?
Disfigurement due to a workplace injury can bring physical, emotional, and cosmetic consequences that may affect your ability to do your job. However, some insurance agents or adjusters do not see reconstructive surgery as a necessary treatment, thus denying medical benefits for such a procedure.
Fortunately, an experienced workers’ comp plastic surgeon like Dr. Zaydon can help you get the treatment and medical benefits you deserve.
A treating doctor who understands your medical condition can support your workers’ comp case and help you receive the proper workers’ comp benefits you need. Furthermore, they can provide all the necessary medical treatments you need to quickly and safely get you back to work again.
Where to find the best plastic surgeon for burns in Miami?
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover corrective surgeries for workplace injuries that impair your ability to function and perform. So if you have been suffering from such injuries, then our board-certified plastic surgeon can provide their expertise to help you.
Dr. Thomas Zaydon is a fellowship-trained doctor with several years of experience working as a plastic surgeon in countless workers’ comp cases. His extensive knowledge and experience also enable him to work in various practices of plastic surgery, such as:
- Plastic surgery expert witness
- Expert medical advisor
- Independent medical examiner
- Medical-legal consultant
- Plastic surgery peer reviews
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.