Fortunately most burns are minor and require only first aid and a dressing. However burns that affect a large area of the body are much more serious, can be life-threatening, involve intensive-care treatment and possibly several operations. Even some small burns, if they are deep, are treated with an operation. There are two main categories of burn surgery:
Acute Burn Surgery
Acute burn care occurs immediately after the injury. It is delivered by a team of trauma surgeons (General Surgeons) that specialize in acute burn care. Complex burns often require consultation with plastic surgeons, who assist with the inpatient and outpatient management of these cases. Large burns, or burns of critical body areas, should be treated at a burn center, such as the LifeCare Hospital. Many smaller burns can be treated with outpatient options.
Post burn scarring and contracture formation can be treated by plastic surgeries, where the wound is released to cover with a skin graft or a skin flap. A plastic surgeon is adept at treating post burn patients, as the plastic surgeon is able to assess the depth of the burn, the percentage of body area affected, and the cause of the burn.