Surgical Treatment of Burns
The treatment of fresh burns is initially to maintain the patient’s vital functions, which in cases when large areas of skin have been burned usually requires intensive medical treatment in a specialist burns unit. Furthermore, it is necessary to remove burned, dead skin and to carry our early enough defect coverage. This usually involves grafting the patient’s healthy, unaffected skin from different areas of the body. Should the burned areas be so large that there is an inadequate supply of skin available for grafting then today there is also the option of using “artificial skin”, skin cell culture or other special methods.
A completely healed skin surface allows an otherwise high-fluid loss etc., to stabilize again. In addition, the skin is also a protective layer against infection. As a result, it is necessary to prevent scar contracture and any limitations in function. This often requires further skin transplantations and in some cases the grafting of additional tissue, which requires longer more complex microsurgery.
Following surgery, there will be a long period of aftercare in the form of special conservative scar treatment with massage as well as the necessity to wear individually suited compression garments. It will only be possible to end the treatment after the scars have matured, which can take anywhere from 1.5 – 2 years. Moreover, it is also necessary to have regular check-ups to ensure that any signs of limitation to function due to scar contracture is recognised early enough and treated. This is particularly true of children because the scarred areas do not always grow in proportion to the way the rest of the body grows. Children should therefore have yearly check-ups as they grow-up.
Aftercare following severe burns was previously only treated in special severe burns units, but we also offer this treatment at our practice as well as conservative and surgical scar treatment.
We can also carry out acute treatment of smaller burns here at the clinic.