What is Burn Surgery?
Burn care is provided by USF Health plastic surgeons at the Tampa General Hospital Burn Center. The team of burn care professionals includes plastic surgeons, critical care physicians, nurse practitioners, resident surgeons, burn therapists, nutritionists, psychologists, social workers, and pastors. The burn care is provided to children and adults from the onset of injury to the completion of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Burns may occur from flames, flash injury, scalding water or grease, chemicals, contact with a hot object, and electrical current.
Treatment may include surgical excision of the burn injured skin and coverage with skin grafts, skin flaps, artificial skin, and/or cultured skin.
After the patient is discharged and healed, reconstructive burn surgery may be required to correct functional and cosmetic problems. In addition, burn scars can be improved with massage, pressure garment therapy, stretching, and range of motion exercises.
How is Burn Surgery Performed?
When a burn scar is disfiguring or causes functional problems, operative therapies may help. These therapies usually involve scar release procedures. Once a tight scar is released, a plastic surgeon uses multiple techniques to close the wound, including skin grafts and skin rearrangement. More complex therapies may be required depending on the size and location of the scar. Minor procedures are usually performed as outpatient surgery, but more complex procedures could require an inpatient stay.
Who is a good candidate for Burn Surgery?
Electrical burn patients, chemical burn patients, thermal burn patients, and contact burn patients (scald burns from contact to stove, ovens, irons, etc.) who understand that this procedure may not entirely remove burn scars, but may reduce the noticeability of the scars. Patients whose motions are limited by tight burn scars could benefit from this procedure.