Burns and Plastic Surgery

Burns and Plastic Surgery

Burns and Plastic Surgery

Burns and Plastic Surgery

1. Introduction

Rabboni Hospitals LTD has witness different types of surgery such that a burn is a type of injury to the skin, or other tissues of the body, caused by heat, cold, electricity or chemicals. Skin is the largest organ of the body and has many important functions.

So, when it is damaged, serious problems can result. Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty that deals with the correction or restoring of a form and function. It may also involve the altering of facial or body features, which is why it is of such central importance in the treatment of burns.

There is a special, specific relationship between burns and plastic surgery, and this collection of informational essays will provide a comprehensive overview of the subject. Such an overview is important because the combined treatment of burns with plastic surgery is known to make a huge difference to a patient’s recovery and long-term quality of life.

Also, this topic is a subject which features regularly in UK medical school curricula, and so it is hoped that these essays will help to round out the knowledge of those studying such courses.

1.1. Definition of Burns

Severe burns are among the most devastating forms of trauma and are defined as damage to the body’s tissues caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation. Such burns lead to tissue cell impairment and cell death and can, in turn, result in serious microbial infection, loss of body fluids, and electrolyte imbalances that may pose a life-threatening danger. The consequence of burn injuries is debilitating.

Burn injury causes a process of local and systemic inflammation, and the magnitude of this response depends on the size of the wound. It can result in substantial scarring, disfigurement, and immobility. A severe burn can be a multi-system trauma because it can affect many organs with morphologic and functional impairment. It is therefore crucial to understand the pathophysiology of burns in order to manage and treat it effectively.

Nowadays, burn injury is still a major clinical challenge and creates potentially enormous morbidity and mortality. It is a common injury, especially in children and elderly people. Despite intensive investigations into the molecular and cellular basis of wound healing and great advances in medical technology, the treatment for deep burn and the restoration of the injured skin to an aesthetically acceptable and functionally advantageous state are still far from satisfactory. Innovative therapies for wound healing, such as stem cells and gene therapy, offer much promise to patients with severe burns, but they are still in early stages of experimental study.

1.2. Importance of Plastic Surgery in Burn Treatment

Plastic surgery plays a crucial role in the treatment of burns, especially extensive burns that affect a wider part of the body. The main goals of plastic surgery in the treatment of burns are to improve the function of the affected body part, to restore the normal appearance of the body, and to prevent the development of abnormalities in the burned area. In order to achieve these goals, patients may need to undergo one or more different types of plastic surgery.

The type of surgery used in the treatment of burns depends upon the location and the size of the burn. The most commonly used surgical method in the treatment of burns is known as skin grafting. This surgical method involves the replacement of the burned skin with healthy skin taken from another part of the patient’s body or from a donor.

The new healthy skin will help to shield the body against infections and will encourage the growth of new skin. Skin grafting helps to reduce the complications of extensive burns, especially if it is carried out within the first few days following the injury. Another important usage of plastic surgery in the treatment of burns is scar management. Scars resulting from burn injuries can develop and tighten the skin and affect the underlying muscles and tendons. In many cases, scar tissue from burns can also affect the function of the body.

Therefore, it is crucial to start a scar management program early, before the scar tissue develops and tightens. Silicone sheeting, pressure garments, and regular massaging are some of the ways used in the management of scars. Reconstructive surgery is also a common type of plastic surgery used in the treatment of burns.

This type of surgery may be used to modify the burn scars so that the patient can regain limited movement of the affected areas. However, generally it is not carried out until a full recovery is made, which could take one to two years. Patients who have burns on visible parts of the body, such as the face, hands, and neck, may need to undergo reconstructive surgery to prevent the formation of the contraction of the scar tissue. This is because the scar tissue can form and pull the normal skin that is surrounding it, which may restrict the movement of the affected area.

1.3. Overview of the Relationship between Burns and Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that uses a number of surgical and nonsurgical techniques to change the appearance and function of a person’s body. In many cases, plastic surgery can further improve a person’s appearance and self-esteem through both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. As for the treatment of severe burns, plastic surgery is as significant as emergency treatment. Unlike some other types of injuries and conditions, burn treatment may last years and require many different kinds of plastic surgeries.

The goal of the plastic surgeon is to reduce the scarring and to restore function and form. The use of plastic surgery has, for many years, been considered to be a fundamental part of the treatment for burns, and the path towards the wide acceptance of many plastic surgery techniques has opened with the demand within this area. Based on the National Institute of Health in the US, burns and plastic/aesthetic surgery share the longest history in research and practice.

Today, this relationship remains strong and grows every day with the development of tissue engineering and stem cell technology which contribute to the discovery of innovative treatment for patients suffering from burns. The treatment of severe burns has been changed significantly since the Iraq war. Army plastic surgeons have had to treat and operate on wounded soldiers and understand their problems and experiences with burns. Psychological studies show that patients with similar injuries in a disaster bear a different degree of depression and emotional disturbance compared to depressive patients who suffer from trauma due to rape, accident or other serious conditions.

The Psychology and Counseling department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison also states that compared with other traumas, burn injuries result in consistent and significant distress to patients in terms of long-lasting changes to appearance, ability to function, and threat of painful operations. Major symptoms and characteristics include 3D symptoms including re-experiencing the event through bad dreams or recollections.

The treatment of burns is multidisciplinary and includes plastic surgeons, general and trauma surgeons, critical care and trauma nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and many other allied health professionals. All these professionals work together to ensure that the patient has the best chances of recovery. Although the fields of burns and plastic surgery have a strong relationship and much research is dedicated to furthering knowledge within these areas, it is still difficult to help people sustain from burns or trauma in terms of completely restoring their pre-injury appearance and function. With the combined understanding and manipulations from burns and plastic surgery, we hope that one day we can find solutions to minimize the impact brought by burn injuries.

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