Burn surgery falls into two broad categories: acute and reconstructive. Acute burn surgery is performed immediately after the injury by trauma surgeons who specialize in treating burns. If the burn is severe, large or complex, the trauma surgeons may consult with a plastic surgeon.
Reconstructive burn surgery is performed after the burn has healed. Plastic surgeons are generally the specialists who provide this type of care. The goal of reconstructive burn surgery is to reduce scarring and improve the function of the burned area.
Types of Burns
Burns, which are defined as the destruction of the skin and anything within it, are divided into four broad categories depending on how many layers of skin and other tissues are damaged. The bigger and deeper the burn, the more serious it is.
First-degree burns are the least serious and may only involve the epidermis. A minor sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn. The skin is red and feels hot. First-degree burns may heal within three to five days with home treatment, and they may not cause scars or blisters.
Second-degree burns come in two types: superficial partial-thickness burns that affect the first two layers of skin, and deep-partial thickness burns that damage deeper layers. Second-degree burns may be caused by heat, friction, chemicals, radiation or electricity. Superficial second-degree burns are painful and moist with blisters. The reddened skin turns white when pressed.
Deep second-degree burns may not usually hurt, but they may be accompanied by a feeling of pressure. The skin is spotted and may look waxy. It may be dry or slightly moist. Treatment for second-degree burns depends on the size and depth of the burn, and second-degree burns may leave scars.
Third-degree burns are sometimes called full-thickness burns, for they damage all of the layers of the skin, plus the fat underneath. They are often caused by electricity, steam, chemicals and hot liquids. The burn is dry, hard, discolored and looks leathery. Third-degree burns may require a doctor’s attention.
Fourth-degree burns are the most serious, for the burn has gone all the way through the skin to damage other tissues like muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels or tendons. Such burns require medical treatment.
When to Consider Burn Surgery
At Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Mr. Salerno has extensive skill and experience when it comes to treating burns. Burn surgery is offered as a way to improve the appearance and function of the overall burned area.
To determine if you are a candidate for burn surgery, make an appointment at our office in Moonee Ponds. We also serve the Melbourne and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.