Burn Reconstruction - Page
Also known as a Burn Injury Rehabilitation
What is a Burn Reconstruction surgery?
Reconstructive surgery for burns may be required after the initial burn wounds have healed. The goals of reconstructive burn surgery are to improve both the function and the cosmetic appearance of burn scars. This involves the modification or alteration of the scar tissue, by both non-operative and operative means. Treatments for scar tissue often take several months to be effective, and new scar can appear long after these injuries, especially in young patients who are still growing.
What to expect during the Burn Reconstruction procedure?
Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. Procedures can include:
Skin Grafts – is when healthy skin is taken from one part of the body and transplanted to another part. This may involve transplanting a few layers of deep skin or all of the dermis. Skin is usually taken from a part of the body that is hidden by clothing and a permanent scar should be expected. Recovery from a skin graft may take three or more weeks, depending on how many layers of skin were transplanted.
Microsurger – refers to any procedure in which the surgeon uses a microscope for assistance in reconstructive procedures. This is frequently done when blood vessels or nerves need to be repaired or reattached.
Free Flap Procedure – like a skin graft procedure takes healthy tissue from one part of the body and moves it to another part of the body. During a free flap procedure, muscle, skin, or bone is transplanted with the original blood supply. This process requires a longer recovery time, with full healing taking eight weeks or more to occur.
Tissue Expansion – is used to encourage the body to grow new, healthy skin. A balloon expander is inserted under the area where the skin should grow. This balloon is filled with saline solution over time, which causes the skin to slowly stretch and grow. Once new skin has formed, it can be used in reconstructive procedures. Growing new skin through tissue expansion can take up to four months.
What to expect during the recovery for Burn Reconstruction?
Since a variety of procedures can be performed, your individual postoperative instructions may vary. In general, skin grafts require kind of “bolster” dressing to keep them in place for 3-5 days without any movement of the skin graft. In general, follow-up visits are scheduled within 2 weeks of surgery, and there may be sutures to remove at that time.
Request a consultation.
To find out more about available treatments and procedures, request a consultation with Dr. Moulton-Barrett at one of his Bay Area offices. Board certified plastic surgeon Rex Moulton-Barrett, M.D., offers advanced care and procedures for Bay Area residents. He has offices in Oakland, San Leandro, Alameda and Brentwood, CA.