Burn Reconstruction | El Paso
After a burn injury, significant amounts of scar tissue may form that not only significantly changes the appearance, but can deeply affect function. Often, these can be corrected or improved with reconstructive surgery which is performed after any initial, or acute, surgery is performed. After the initial burn wounds have healed, reconstructive surgery can take place to improve both the function and the cosmetic appearance of burn scars.
There are various means of altering the scar tissue, both non-surgical and surgical, and it often takes several months or even years to complete a full course of reconstructive treatment.
Am I a Good Candidate for Reconstructive Burn Surgery?
You may be an excellent candidate for reconstructive burn surgery if:
- You realize that surgery may be able to help improve basic functions or make scars less noticeable, but it will not remove the scarring completely.
- If you have contractures from scarring that limits the normal motion of your neck, shoulder, hands, or legs.
- If you have facial scarring that has caused problems with the eyelids, lips, nose, or hair loss.
- Scars that are abnormally thick, wide, or discolored might also be improved by a combination of operative and non-operative methods.
The Procedural Options
Non-surgical therapies include: scar massage, application of pressure garments, or other topical therapies in addition to therapy that will assist with rehabilitation of hand burns and scars.
Operative therapy consists mainly of scar release procedures. Once a tight scar is released, the opening in the skin must be repaired. Skin grafts, skin rearrangement and more complex flap surgery could be required, depending on the location of the scar and the desired outcome. Most minor procedures are performed as outpatient surgery, but the larger grafts and flaps often require an inpatient stay.
Since a variety of procedures can be performed the recovery time will vary. Generally, skin grafts require a dressing to support the graft for at least 3-5 days without any movement followed by a more traditional dressing. Dr. Gonzalez will work with your physical therapist to monitor any subsequent treatments and to develop the best treatment plan for your situation.
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