Recovery from a serious burn can be a tough and emotional process – but it’s important to remember that you’re not limited to having the injury for the rest of your life. Victims of serious burns are sometimes left with painful and obvious scarring – but even these burns can be hidden effectively using cosmetic surgery procedures to repair and replace the skin with new.
Reconstructive surgeries for burns are typically only done for serious burns – third degree or worse burns. These burns can cause serious, permanent damage to the skin and tissues affected by the injury, and are the most likely to heal badly. Less serious burns can leave scarring as well, but these are typically smaller burns, less obvious, and easier to hide and treat without surgical help. For more information about types of burns and their causes, find the information on Burn Victims Resource.
The most common cosmetic surgery procedure is skin grafts. This procedure takes healthy skin from an area of the body normally hidden by clothing – typically from the hip or chest area – and grafts it onto the affected area with a dressing and stitches or staples, if needed. The recovery time varies, depending on how much skin needed to be grafted, the seriousness of the burn, and the general rate at which the patient’s body heals.
Going to a cosmetic surgeon for this procedure is generally advised, as they specialize in surgeries that leave little or no trace. A normal surgeon can do the technique, but the end result may not blend as well or may leave some minor scarring that’s more obvious than if you went to a specialist.