Burn Reconstruction

Burn reconstruction includes a variety of treatments. The techniques involved vary from an injection to a more extensive flap surgery.

In addition to correcting the appearance of skin damaged by burns, burn reconstruction performed by Dr. Alfaro may also restore lost function to the area. Surgery can also prevent the onset of infection and diseases that such a break in the skin can leave you susceptible to.

What to Expect During Burn Reconstruction

What is it? Procedures to repair appearance and function of skin that is deformed by burns.
Inpatient / Outpatient Inpatient
Surgery time: Varies: A few minutes for injection or about 6 hours for repair of complex defects.
Recovery time: Splints and non-absorbable sutures are removed after about 1-3 weeks.

How Burn Reconstruction Works

Depending on the type of damage to your skin at the burn site, Dr. Alfaro performs a variety of reconstructive techniques. Each of these procedures is designed to meet the unique needs of your skin, restoring form and function whenever possible.

A z-plasty or w-plasty is a procedure Dr. Alfaro may choose to minimize the appearance of a scar and release pressure the scar may cause on the skin, limiting movement. By making a w- or z-shaped incision across the surface of the scar and then repositioning the tissues, this pressure is released. The surface of the scar is also broken up, helping to make the scar less noticeable.

In cases where the scar cannot be minimized, Dr. Alfaro may perform a skin graft procedure. For this option, he will use healthy tissues from a donor site elsewhere on the body. Once he has removed the tissues from the harvest or donor site, they will be placed over the location where the damaged tissue was. Though the skin color may not match perfectly, the graft should behave as undamaged tissue.

In some ways, a flap surgery is similar to a skin graft in that tissues are used from a harvest site. In this case, healthy tissues, as well as blood vessels, fat and sometimes muscle will be tunneled under the skin from the donor site. It will then be attached at the site of the tissue damage, behaving as natural tissues. This procedure is often performed as inpatient and is more involved than a skin graft, but can provide better cosmetic results.

Your recovery after burn reconstruction can vary greatly and will be the longest for a flap surgery. As you heal, swelling can be common, but will be diminished with limited movement and the application of an ice pack. Dr. Alfaro may prescribe medication to help you manage any discomfort.

As you heal, Dr. Alfaro can advise you about recovery steps, including resuming your normal routine and scheduling follow-up visits to his office.

To Schedule Burn Reconstruction in Tucson

If you are ready to discuss burn reconstruction with a board certified plastic surgeon, we encourage you to call the office of Armando Alfaro in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Alfaro can answer your questions and discuss the details of this procedure. Call our office at 520-323-9720 to schedule a consultation.