Healing from burns is both a physical and emotional healing process. A woman in Eastern Pennsylvania has been dealing with the burn healing process for many years. The options available have improved drastically since she first started her procedures. Today, a qualified office could fix these issues more quickly and with less pain. In Health Beat: Healing burn scars, Melanie Falcon writes:
“Hailey Woodall is still dealing with the aftermath of an accident that happened 12 years ago. When Hailey was 19 months old, she spilled a pot of scalding water on herself. “I kind of just grabbed it because I was trying to look up like that, and tilted it onto myself,” Hailey said. Hailey burned 40 percent of her body. “It was horrific. I said I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy to go through that,” said Tiffany Woodall, Hailey’s mom. Hailey spent months in the hospital and had numerous skin graft procedures, but years later, her burn scars were still causing problems. “Part of the process of scarring is the scars contract,” said Dr. Bahar Bassiri Gharb, a plastic surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. Hailey’s scars were affecting the growth of her breast and preventing movement in her arm, so Gharb put a saline-filled expander under Hailey’s normal skin to gradually stretch it out and grow new skin. After a few months, she took the expander out, removed Hailey’s old scars and used the new skin to cover the area. “So with this surgery, we removed half of Hailey’s scars and covered them with normal skin,” Gharb explained. Now, Hailey can raise her arms. “I can go all the way up and before I could hardly go like this,” said Hailey. And she’s got her confidence back. “She’s just so much happier, and she smiles more,” her mom said. Hailey still needs at least two more surgeries to fix her scars. The tissue expansion procedure she had is also commonly used during breast reconstruction.
This is a process that will be ongoing for Hailey. It’s unfortunate that burn reconstruction wasn’t as advanced a decade ago compared to where it is today. As a result, he breasts haven’t grown as they would have without her burns. At Rex Moulton-Barrett, MD, we can help with a wide range of reconstructive surgery including pediatric surgery. Call our offices today for your consultation.