After suffering severe burns, you may require surgery to encourage healing and to reduce scarring. There are various wound treatments burn doctors may provide for their patients.
According to WebMD, the most common procedures include skin grafts, tissue expansion, free flap, and microsurgery.
Skin grafts are the most common surgical procedure for burns. Simply put, the surgeon removes skin from one area of the body and transplants it to another. A split-thickness graft removes a few layers of the outer skin. The grafted skin may require stitches and cover while healing. Generally, skin grafts take less than three weeks to heal. However, a full-thickness graft may take a few more weeks.
Tissue expansion helps your body grow extra skin. The doctors insert a balloon expander under your skin and fill it with saline solution over time. As the balloon fills, the skin stretches and grows. After the skin grows, the physician can use the extra skin to reconstruct the damaged area.
Free flap procedure
During a free flap procedure, the doctor transfers muscle, bone, skin and blood supply from one body area to the surgical site. When you suffer from severe burns, a free flap procedure can help reconstruct the area. If you undergo a free flap procedure, you need wound care and may take up to eight weeks or longer to heal.
If the burn causes you to lose an ear, lip or finger, a doctor may use microsurgery for reattachment. During the procedure, the physician uses a microscope for reconstruction. This method allows surgeons to operate on tiny blood vessels and nerves. They may also use microsurgery for facial paralysis.
After surgery for burn wounds, patients need to pay close attention to the doctor’s guidelines for aftercare.