What Are the Treatment Options?
Non-surgical treatment options include laser therapy, scar massage, topical creams, and pressure garments. Surgical techniques may include scar release procedures, skin grafts, Z-plasty, and the creation of donor flaps. Our team will curate a personalized treatment plan that addresses the unique location and extent of your burns. During your private consultation, we will explain your options in depth, providing a detailed overview so that you can form realistic expectations for your outcome.
Skin grafts are an excellent option for closing wider wounds. Here, a section of healthy skin tissue is harvested from another area of the body (the “donor site”) and transferred to the damaged area. These grafts may be one of three types: a split-thickness graft, a full-thickness graft, and a composite graft. The choice will depend on the depth and width of the wound.
If a bone needs replacement, grafting can be performed to mitigate the loss. Bones can be replaced with artificial, synthetic, or natural compounds. Ideally, bone grafts are taken from the patient’s own body, such as from the iliac crest or the pelvis. In these cases, it is unlikely that the patient’s body will reject the graft. New bones slowly grow and replace the graft material over time.
Tissue expansion is a process that stimulates the body to produce new tissue for use in reconstructive procedures. A silicone balloon expander is inserted beneath the skin near the damaged region. The balloon is slowly filled with fluid, stretching the skin and enabling it to grow. This is a common technique used during breast reconstruction but can also be used for burn repair.
With this approach, a flap of tissue, fat, and sometimes muscle is harvested from a donor region such as the stomach, back, thighs, or buttocks. The flap can remain connected to its original blood supply or can be reattached to blood vessels in its new location using microsurgery. Flap surgery is among the most complex techniques used during burn reconstruction, as scarring will be present at both the treatment site and the donor regions.
Microvascular surgery allows the surgeon to reattach transplanted tissue, muscle, or bone to a new blood supply. This technique requires extensive training and skill, and our board-certified reconstructive surgeons at The LaVie Institute have the clinical acumen to perform microsurgery as part of your comprehensive burn repair treatment.
Laser Therapy for Burn Scars
Laser treatment can help to fade thick, raised scars (hypertrophic scars) that interfere with optimal function and movement. Laser therapy can also relieve the emotional distress of contending with a scar in a highly visible area of the body, such as on the face or neck. Finally, laser energy can help lessen itching and discomfort.