Burn Reconstruction Surgery
Minor burns will often heal on their own, perhaps leaving behind a faint scar. But deep burns that cover a large area of the body can leave permanent, unsightly scarring. Third-degree burns can also damage tissue deep under the skin, such as muscles and nerves. Even if the patient does not die, they will be permanently disfigured.
Doctors have many options for reconstructive surgery. In this article, we discuss some dimensions of reconstructive surgery that burn victims should consider.
The Goals of Reconstructive Surgery
Many people might imagine that the purpose of surgery is cosmetic, and this is certainly one reason for surgery. But surgery also is necessary to release skin contractures that limit a person’s range of movement. Often, the burned skin is opened before the surgeon closes the wound with a skin graft or skin rearrangement.
With surgery, a patient can regain their range of motion, which can help them remain independent and also improve their mood. In other words, reconstructive surgery offers tangible physical and mental benefits.
Burns to the face are some of the most emotionally devastating that a person can suffer. Unlike a burn on your leg, it is impossible to hide a facial burn, and many burn victims become depressed, anxious, and angry over their injuries. As a result, a doctor might recommend psychotherapy and/or prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.
There are also many health complications a victim can suffer when their face is burned:
- If a person cannot blink, then dry eyes can cause damage to the cornea.
- Facial scars can make it harder to breathe, which can lead to complications such as a risk of pneumonia.
- Trouble opening the mouth can interfere with eating and drinking, leading to weight loss.
- Problems with lifting the head can make it hard for a person to get around without injuring themselves.
In some situations, a patient might qualify for a facial transplant. Only about 20 have been performed around the world, and there are strict requirements, such as the ability to take immunosuppressant drugs. However, as doctors become more experienced, the procedure should become available to more people.
Surgery is neither necessary nor desirable in all cases. In some situations, non-operative procedures will be effective at reintroducing a range of movement. Some alternative therapies include scar massage or topical therapies. To prevent scars from forming in the first place, you will probably wear compression garments over the burn, which will interfere with your body’s ability to create collagen.
With scar massage, the goal is to soften the scar and release adhesions in the scar bands. Generally, massage will begin once your skin graft has become durable enough to handle the pressure of the massage. Your therapist should begin lightly and increase the pressure on the scar as your wounds heal.
Contact Bundza & Rodriguez Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury, you need compensation to deal with the fallout. At Bundza & Rodriguez, we have helped countless clients get the money they need for reconstructive surgery and other care.
Reach out to us today. One of our Daytona Beach burn injury attorneys will be happy to meet with you, so call 386-252-5170.