If you have suffered a burn or other scarring wound, the pain of the trauma can last far beyond the initial injury. Many times, these injuries mar the appearance, affect mobility and cause loss of sensation. However, with today’s technologies and medical advances, plastic surgery is a valid option to restore you to original function and appearance.
You may also be concerned with what the procedures involve and how invasive they will be. Here are a few of the treatments available for burns and other wounds:
Simply speaking, a skin graft involves transplanting skin from one part of the body to another. This is the least invasive type of reconstructive surgery for these types of wounds, however it can cause scarring on inconspicuous parts of the body. If only a few layers of skin need removal, recovery time is quick. If all the dermis must be removed, you will have a longer recovery.
When skin adjacent to the injury site is used to cover the wound, the procedure is called a local flap. If your injury affects a large area or the local skin is injured as well, a regional flap may be necessary. This involves removing a piece of tissue from elsewhere on your body with the blood supply still attached. If this is impossible, a surgeon can perform a free flap and remove tissue completely from its blood supply. He can then sew blood vessels back together at the wound site.
Since reconstructive surgery has to be done after your initial wounds are healed, sometimes the skin tightens as it heals. Depending on where the wound is, this may cause you limited mobility. Incisional and excisional release are two methods of correcting this problem.
Tissue expansion is used to stretch and grow extra skin to repair the wound area. While this is a great option if you want to avoid scarring, it is a lengthy procedure and may cause the area undergoing repair to be noticeable in the meantime.
While surgery may not be your preference after all you have been through, know that burn victims receive great results from plastic reconstructive surgery. Just the cosmetic benefits relieve much of a patient’s suffering. However, if you suffer from loss of mobility or sensation, plastic surgery may be just what you need to get your life back.
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