Burns can damage your skin and self-esteem for long periods. Even mild burns can severely damage your skin and lead to permanent scars that cause considerable self-consciousness and physical discomfort. Reconstructive burn surgery in Novi involves using non-surgical and surgical techniques to restore optimal aesthetic appearance and improve the functionality of burn scars.
Scar tissue treatment is a long-term journey
Burn patients usually maintain long-term relationships with their reconstructive burn surgeons. Scar tissue treatments often take a few months to be effective, and fresh scar contractures can also appear later. This is especially true in younger patients who are still growing and whose skin is still developing. Dr. Khan develops a longstanding relationship with his patients to guide them on the most effective path to aesthetic and functional recovery.
What are the types of burn surgery?
Acute Burn Care
Acute burn care occurs immediately after the injury, handled by a team of trauma surgeons specializing in acute burns. If the burn is complex, it requires a consultation with plastic surgeons, who can assist in the in-patient and outpatient management of burns and scars. Large burns or burns of critical body areas should be treated at verified burn centers by specialists.
Reconstructive Burn Surgery
Reconstructive burn surgery occurs after the initial wounds have healed. Once the initial burn wounds heal completely, the patient will be left with scar tissues that cause functional or cosmetic problems. Reconstructive burn surgery in Novi involves numerous techniques to alter the scar tissues and improve your cosmetic appearance. This type of burn care is offered at Executive Plastic Surgery.
What is reconstructive burn surgery?
When it comes to reconstructive burn surgery, improving the function and appearance of burn scars are the main goals. This involves altering scar tissues with a combination of non-invasive and surgical treatments. Non-operative therapies include scar massage or pressure garments, and surgical possibilities include scar release procedures, i.e., the tight scar tissues are released, and the exposed areas are closed.
Aside from aesthetic concerns, scarring can impede the normal motion of the neck, shoulders, hands, or legs. Surgery will not remove a patient’s burn scars completely, but it will help advance basic functions and make wounds less visible. You may need surgical treatments to release taut skin, which can help you recoup your range of motion. Reconstructive burn surgery has aesthetic and functional benefits.
Benefits of reconstructive burn surgery:
- Reduce the prominence of burn scars
- Stimulate and catalyze natural healing
- Make wounds less visible
- Release taut skin
- Improve range of motion
- Minimize discomfort caused by scars
- Improve self-esteem and confidence
When is reconstructive burn surgery indicated?
Generally speaking, burn patients must wait one year before considering reconstructive burn surgery. The final modification of burn scarring should usually be deferred for a year (or longer) after the scars heal. This will give your scars enough time to mature over time. Your body has a powerful capacity to heal naturally, so a reconstructive burn surgery in Novi may not be necessary in a year.
However, waiting for scar maturation is unsuitable when vital structures are unprotected. You may need urgent reconstructive burn surgery to correct functional issues, such as severe fourth-degree contractures, bare cornea, and more. Dr. Khan will carefully evaluate your condition, discuss your goals and concerns, and determine if you’re suitable for reconstructive burn surgery or if you should wait longer.
The following situations may necessitate urgent reconstructive burn surgery:
- Eyelid release to shield a bare cornea
- Correction of distracted or entrapped neurovascular bundles
- Treating severe fourth-degree contractures
- Treating severe microstomia, a condition wherein the mouth is too small for eating and talking
Your personalized reconstructive burn surgery consultation with Dr. Shaher Khan
The initial step on your path to burn recovery is to plan a private consultation. When preparing for surgery for a burn patient, Dr. Shaher Khan must contemplate your primary grievance. He carefully evaluates the degree of burn scars, reviews your health history, discusses your goals and concerns, and curates a personalized burn surgery in Novi treatment plan accordingly.
Dr. Khan will evaluate the following:
- What tissues are left?
- What parts are missing?
- What sort of donor sites are available?
- Are immature scars present?
- Is there increasing deformity?
- Is an urgent or essential procedure required?
- Is the need for pressure garments and/or occupational and physical therapy indicated?
- Is the deformity stable?
During the initial consultation, you must provide a complete medical history. Clear and transparent communication is vital for the success of your therapy, so be sure to talk to your surgeon about all the medications you are taking. You must also be ready to discuss possible risks and your feelings about the next steps.
What are the types of reconstructive burn surgeries?
Dr. Shaher Khan will curate a personalized treatment plan for your reconstructive burn surgery. Depending on your functional concerns, the location of the scars, the degree of scarring, and other factors, he may recommend various procedures, such as skin grafts, skin rearrangement, and tissue expansion. Most of the minor surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures.
The following are your reconstructive burn surgery options:
- Skin Grafts: The surgeon harvests healthy skin tissues from one part of your body and transplants them to the injured site. Most skin grafts are performed under general anesthesia, so you don’t experience any pain or discomfort.
- Skin Rearrangement: Also known as a z-plasty, this procedure involves making a z-shaped incision on the targeted scar tissues to release tightness. This procedure can improve your range of motion and functionality.
- Tissue Expansion: The human body has an amazing capacity to grow and heal naturally, which is manipulated to stimulate cellular regeneration. The surgeon places a silicone balloon expander under the skin and gradually fills it with saline and carbon dioxide. Your skin grows and stretches around the silicone balloon to facilitate healing.
For more information on types of burn surgery in Novi options, please contact our office for a consultation.
What happens during the recovery period?
After the surgery, Dr. Khan will provide thorough post-surgery instructions. If you want the best possible outcome, please follow the directions you are given. Your individual postoperative instructions will depend on your condition and the chosen surgical technique. You will also have follow-up appointments to assess long-term results and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Generally speaking, skin grafts necessitate a “bolster” dressing. These are meant to keep the grafts in place for 3 to 5 days and will aid the skin graft in “sticking” to the wound, which will begin the healing process. If you have a skin graft, you will have two areas of your body to monitor for healing — The burnt area with the new skin and the donor site.
For full-thickness skin grafts, the donor site is simply stitched together. However, for split-thickness skin grafts, the wound heals by reepithelialization (epithelial cells travel from the remnants of the underlying dermis across the wound bed). The donor sites heal within 10 days, progressing through two dissimilar stages of healing — the wet phase (the site is managed with a permeable bandage) and the dry phase (the wound bed dries out).
The follow-ups are usually arranged within two weeks of the operation, and there may be stitches to remove. Additional therapies involving splints or casts may be required in the weeks and months after burn surgery in Novi. To ensure complete recovery of function, you may have to perform certain exercises at home. Please follow the surgeon’s aftercare guidelines to ensure optimal recovery without complications.
What are the risks of reconstructive burn surgery?
Reconstructive surgery of any kind comes with risks — there is no way to have a surgical operation without risks. However, we are dedicated to creating the safest outcomes for our patients. Dr. Khan will use the latest and safest surgical techniques and follow all possible precautions to minimize the risk of complications. He will also discuss all possible risks and aftercare guidelines before your surgery.
The risks and complications of reconstructive burn surgery include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Anesthesia problems
- Difficulty with wound healing
You have a higher risk of complications if you:
- Are a smoker and unwilling to stop smoking several weeks before and after surgery
- Have skin damage from radiation or other reasons
- Have reduced blood circulation in the targeted area
- Have a weakened immune system because of HIV or other conditions
- Have poor dietary habits that prevent optimal healing and recovery
Why choose Dr. Khan?
Dr. Shaher Khan is a double board-certified reconstructive surgeon specializing in cutting-edge surgeries to restore your health and wellness. He aims to earn your trust and ensure you leave the office feeling re-energized and understood. It’s not always possible to remove all scarring, but Dr. Khan uses the most effective techniques to improve the look and functionality of your skin. Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Khan to explore your burn surgery in Novi options.