Reconstructive Burn Surgery

Reconstructive Burn Surgery2021-05-06T16:06:14+02:00

What is Burn Plastic Surgery?

Reconstructive burn surgery can reduce or minimise the appearance of burns. It can also help reduce pain by easing contracture and can improve mobility.

Burns can be visually unappealing, limit mobility and cause loss of sensation. Most burn victims survive but many of them with serious scarring or physical disabilities. Burn scarring may never disappear but can be made less noticeable with surgery and pain associated with contracture can be eased.

The relationship between the burn patient and the reconstructive burn surgeon often lasts many years. Treatments for scar tissue often take several months to be effective, and new scar contractures can appear long after these injuries, especially in young patients who are still growing.

surgery

FAQ

How do I plan for burn surgery?2020-12-22T11:28:46+02:00

During the first consultation I will assess your burn scarring and we will discuss your expectations so that you have a good understanding of what can be achieved and what the realistic expectations should be.

I will need a full medical history, including all previous procedures and medical conditions.

We will also discuss risks and complications of surgery.

What is the procedure for burn surgery?2020-12-31T11:07:26+02:00

The goals of reconstructive burn surgery are to improve both the function and the cosmetic appearance of burn scars. This involves altering scar tissue, with both non-operative and operative treatment.

Non-operative therapies might involve scar massage, the use of pressure garments, and or topical therapies.

Surgical options consist mainly of releasing tight scar tissue and closing open wound areas.

There are a variety of ways to close these wounds depending on a patient’s needs. Skin grafts or skin flaps could be used, depending on the location of the scar and a patient’s personal goals. Tissue expansion can also be used to cover large burn scar areas. Good results are commonly attained when performing tissue expansion to regions of the face, trunk and neck.

How should I prepare for burn surgery?2020-12-30T19:57:57+02:00

Before your surgery, you may be asked to stop smoking for 2 – 4 weeks prior to the procedure. Nicotine retards the healing process, and quitting for as long as possible before surgery helps improve blood flow.

You might also have to have a blood test before surgery is performed.

You should stop taking certain medication, like aspirin and some anti-inflammatory drugs. You may need to stop taking some vitamins and supplements so be sure to disclose what you are taking. Let your surgeon know whatever medication you use since you may need to adjust these. Avoid recreational drugs.

Be sure to arrange for transport to and from the clinic, since you will not be able to drive yourself after the procedure.

What can I expect after burn surgery?2020-12-31T11:08:21+02:00

You will be given post-surgery instructions which are important to follow to heal and obtain the best possible outcome, both in terms of function and physical appearance.

You will have follow up appointments to assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns.

Recovery time will depend on the procedure. In general, skin grafts require 7 to 10 days without any movement of the skin graft. A specialised dressing is used to help the skin graft adhere to the wound and begin healing.

Smaller operations (scar revisions) might require only a soft dressing afterwards.

After scar releases on the hand, you may have a plaster splint for support.

Follow-up visits are normally within two weeks of surgery and stitches may be remove at this time. Additional physical therapy may be required in the weeks and months following surgery to ensure a complete recovery of function. We will work together to develop the plan that is best for you.

Be patient with your healing. As you heal your skin colour and appearance will change. You may notice numbness and tingling this is normal. Improvement will continue over the next few months.

What are the risks of burn surgery?2020-12-22T12:06:28+02:00

The biggest risk is infection at the surgical site. Look out changes and let me know if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • White pimples or blisters around the incision lines
  • An increase in redness, tenderness or swelling
  • Occasionally, a small amount of bloody or clear yellow-tinged fluid may drain. Notify me if it persists or if it changes in consistency.
  • A sudden increase in pain not relieved by pain medication.

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