Burn Reconstruction Treatments
Most burns occur in the home, at work, or are part of an injury from a motor vehicle accident. All burns, even minor ones, may cause complications if not properly treated. Our skin is the natural barrier to infection, and burns destroy that protection, so treatment usually involves preventing or treating infections.
Burn Care and Treatments
Our team thoroughly examines every patient to offer treatments that will best meet each individual's needs. We give careful consideration to several factors:
- Extent of the injury
- Best options for replacing and repairing damaged tissues
- Risks involved with different types of surgery
- Patient's desired level of functioning and physical appearance
Based on these factors, we will recommend treatments and work with patients and their families to develop a care plan that best suits their needs. Although burns require fast medical attention, however, you can take the following steps until medical attention is available:
- Stop the burning process.
- Assess airflow, breathing, and circulation.
- Remove rings, jewelry, or tight clothing before swelling develops. Do not remove clothing that is stuck to the burn itself.
- Evaluate the extent and depth of the burn. Small burns may be rinsed in cool water to decrease the pain, but large burns submerged in cool water can cause hypothermia.
- Do not burst blisters or attempt to remove blisters.
- Cover the burn area with a clean or sterile dry cloth or bandage.
- Seek prompt medical attention for second, third, and fourth degree burns as well as for electrical or chemical burns.
While minor burns may be treatable at home, all other burns require immediate emergency medical attention because of the risk of infection, dehydration and other complications. All burns covering a large body surface area are considered an emergency and should be treated at the hospital immediately.
Our doctors will focus on keeping the burned area clean and removing any dead tissue using a process called debridement. You will also receive medications that help reduce pain and prevent infection.
Post Burn Care, Reconstructive Surgery and Rehabilitation
Our multidisciplinary clinical team provides a full spectrum of comprehensive services to patients, offering modern plastic surgery services that correct dysfunction and deformities related to burn injury. Our doctors have many years of experience in burn reconstruction surgery, and our nurses and physical and occupational therapists provide expert support and guidance through recovery.
The size, nature and extent of the injury or deformity will determine what treatment option is chosen and how quickly surgery is performed. Though reconstructive surgery frequently demands complex planning and may require a number of procedures completed in stages, it may also be a simple and straightforward procedure. A thorough evaluation will help determine the amount or extent of surgery needed. To learn more about reconstructive surgery and other treatments, visit our pages on plastic surgery, skin procedures and wound care.
MedStar Good Samaritan's extensive rehabilitation services enable us to provide complete care for patients with the late effects of burn injuries. Our goal is to provide patients with every opportunity to heal, inside and out, and help them regain their quality of life and whole sense of self. We accomplish this by reducing the visibility of burn scars, correcting dysfunction, and providing access to counseling and support services to help resolve the psychological and social issues that often accompany scarring.
What Patients Can Expect
During an initial consultation, which can sometimes last up to an hour, the patient can discuss his or her concerns related to their burn injury and the goals and results he or she hopes to achieve. In addition, the patient can discuss follow-up care and expectations for treatment outcomes. It's important for potential patients to realize that no surgery will completely remove all of their burn scars. Through reconstructive surgery, it is our goal to improve our patients' physical functions and minimize the appearance of scars.
If scar tightening limits the patient's normal range of motion for certain joints (neck, shoulders, elbows, hands or knees), reconstructive surgery can help release the tightness of these scars to improve movement. In addition, scars that are raised, thick or discolored may be improved by a variety of operative and non-operative techniques. Burn reconstruction may begin when the scar has matured, usually nine to 12 months after the date of the original burn injury, and it can occur years later.
Before and After Treatment Photos
- Leigh Ann Price, MD, Director
- Robert J. Spence, MD, FACS, Founder
Watch the video below to see how the Burn Reconstruction Center helps patients heal and regain their quality of life.
In the Press
Dr. Leigh Ann Price has been featured in the Catholic Review for the exceptional reconstructive care she provided for a teenage patient who suffered burns on more than 25 percent of the front of her body. Read the full article here.