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Plastic Surgery for Burns: Types and Procedures

August 26, 2022

Plastic Surgery for Burns: Types and Procedures

The difficult part about the treatment of burns is, treating the patient both physically and mentally. Even minor burns can leave behind scars that can mentally disturb the patients. Doctors go for plastic surgery to reduce scarring to restore appearance as much as possible.

About Plastic Surgery for Burns

If your burns are severe and they are limiting your mobility or if your burns are causing a loss of sensation, your doctor prefers plastic surgery to reconstruct the damaged areas. There are different types of plastic surgery options:

  • Debridement: Debridement or cleaning is a procedure for plastic surgery for burns. In this procedure, the burnt area is cleaned by removing the dead and infected cells and bones.
  • Skin grafts: Skin grafting are of two types, temporary skin grafts, and permanent skin grafts. Temporary skin graft or xenografting is done to temporarily cover the wound. It protects the skin from further infection and pain. In xenografting, sterilised pigskin is used for temporary skin grafting.

Permanent skin grafting is done on patients who have partial-thickness wounds or full-thickness wounds. Permanent skin grafting helps in faster healing of scars. For permanent skin grafting, skin is taken from some other part of the patient’s body.

  • Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion is an age-old technique to lessen the visibility of scars through laser.
  • Plastic surgery-Z-Plasty or W-Plasty: Z-Plasty or W-plasty is performed on patients for scar management.
  • Amputation or reconstructive surgery: In certain patients, wounds are so deep that amputation might be required. In such cases, reconstructive plastic surgery is performed after the amputation.

Who Qualifies for Plastic Surgery for Burns?

The patients who qualify for plastic surgery after a burn are:

  • If the wound is so severe that it has limited the patient’s mobility
  • If the burn has caused a loss of sensation in the affected area
  • If the burn requires cosmetic reconstruction

Why is Plastic Surgery for Burns Conducted?

The primary aim of plastic surgery for burns is the restoration of the skin and functioning of some organs like the ears, mouth or eyes that might get damaged because of severe burns. Plastic surgery might require preparation for several months to improve the scarred tissues. Plastic surgery is especially required for patients who suffer from long-term negative effects of severe burns both functionally and aesthetically.

Benefits of Plastic Surgery for Burns

The benefits of plastic surgery for burns are:

  • Plastic surgery can improve the confidence and self-esteem of burn patients. Severe burns can damage the face, mouth, ears or even eyes. This can cause disfigurement and subsequent frustration. As a result, when those parts are restored through plastic surgery, it can boost the patient's self-confidence.
  • Plastic surgery can provide better sleep, in patients whose nose or nasal cavity has been damaged by burns. Plastic surgery helps restore the nose, thereby aiding in better breathing and sleep.
  • Sometimes severe burns can lead to vision loss in patients because of drooping eyelids or collection of excess skin and muscle around the eyes. Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery that helps restore vision by correcting the eyes.

Risks of Plastic Surgery for Burns

Plastic surgery for burns can include the following risk factors:

  • Undesirable scarring
  • Pain at the site of surgery might not be relieved by painkillers.
  • Infection at the site of plastic surgery might show symptoms like blisters, redness, swelling or tenderness at the surgical site. You might also develop high temperatures in case of an infection.
  • Rejection of skin grafting by the body
  • Loss of sensation at the site of plastic surgery
  • There might be yellow-coloured drainage from the surgical site that must be reported to the doctor immediately.

If you experience any such complications, visit a plastic surgeon near you.

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Call 18605002244

Is plastic surgery for burns a minor or major surgery?

Plastic surgery for burns might be minor or major depending upon the severity of the burn. In cases where organs like the eyes, nose, mouth or ears are damaged, plastic surgery can be a major option.

What is the recovery time following plastic surgery for burns?

Plastic surgery for burns might take two weeks to recover. But if there is full-thickness skin grafting, it might take a few more weeks for the wounds to heal.

Will plastic surgery for burns last for a lifetime?

The longevity of plastic surgery for burns depends on the severity of the burn and the technique applied by the surgeon. In many cases, the patients might have to undergo a series of surgeries to correct burn scarring.

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