What are the different types of Plastic Surgery for Burns and other severe wounds?

Plastic surgery is the best option for burns or wounds which are severe and which has limited your mobility or caused loss of sensation or is cosmetically unappealing.

There are several types of wound treatment, your plastic surgeon adopts depending on the type of your wound and your health condition.

If your wound is severe, your plastic surgeon might first do debridment, that is a procedure done to remove the dead tissues and then will adopt the best suitable reconstructive procedure for your wound

What are the different types of Plastic Surgery for Burns and other severe wounds?

Few of the commonly used wound treatments are as follows:

1. Skin Grafts

This is a surgical procedure often used for burn wounds and other superficial wounds.In this surgery, skin is removed from one area of the body and transplanted to a different area of the body.

There are two basic types of Skin Grafts:

  1. Split-thickness Grafts and
  2. Full-thickness Grafts

Split-thickness GraftsSplit-thickness Grafts involves removing only the top layers of the skin – the epidermis and a portion of dermis. These layers are taken from the site where healthy skin is located, called the donor site. Usually these layers are taken from the front of the thigh, abdomen, buttocks or back. Split-thickness grafting is generally used to cover large areas. Recovery from a split-thickness graft procedure is comparatively faster.

Full-thickness Grafts
A full-thickness graft involves removing all of the epidermis and dermis. These are generally taken from the abdomen, forearm, groin or area above the clavicle. Full-thickness Grafts are usually used for small wounds or highly visible parts of the body as this procedure has a better cosmetic outcome

2. Microsurgery

Reconstructive Microsurgery is a surgical procedure where specialized operating microscopes are used to repair very small intricate structures such as blood vessels and nerves which are less than few millimetres in diameter. This procedure has made a major impact to restore form and function to individuals impaired by trauma, cancer or congenital anomalies.

Few areas where Microsurgery is made use of includes:
Breast Reconstruction
Complex wound reconstruction
Head and neck reconstruction
Toe to thumb transplantation
Nerve repair and grafting

3. Free Flap Procedure

Free flap surgery is a microvascular reconstructive surgery where muscle, skin or bone is transferred along with the blood supply from the donor site to the surgical site in order to reconstruct the area. This procedure is commonly performed during breast reconstruction or following surgery to remove head or neck cancer. Retaining the blood supply promotes tissue healing and promotes fusion of the transferred tissues with the tissues around the recipient site.

4. Tissue Expansion

Tissue expansion is a reconstructive procedure which has become quite widespread particularly in the fields of breast reconstruction, pediatric plastic surgery and burn surgery. The aim of this procedure is to expand the skin in the adjacent area of defect through controlled mechanical overstretch. When skin is stretched beyond its physiological limit, it leads to formation of new cells. The most common way adopted for this is through implantation of inflatable balloons under the skin where reconstruction is intended. After this, gradually saline is filled over weeks or months, causing the skin to stretch and grow. One of the advantages of this procedure is that the skin color and texture is almost the same for that area.

5.Local /Regional flap .

In wounds which are deep and in which critical structures like bone ,vessels, tendons, nerves are exposed ,surgeon may use local or regional tissue to cover and reconstruct the wound.

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