Burns are devastating injuries that have the potential to kill, maim, and cause great pain.
First and superficial second degree burns are partial thickness burns which may heal without skin grafting as there is still healthy skin at the bottom of the burn to heal the skin from the bottom up. Full thickness or 3rd degree burns and deep 2nd degree burns most often require surgery in the form of skin grafts to restore skin coverage.
Patients who burn large parts of their body will often need more than one trip to the operating room for the plastic surgeon to remove the nonviable skin and replace it with skin grafts.
When burnt across joints, burns may heal by tightening the skin thus restricting joint movement. These are called joint contractures. Plastic surgeons provide combinations of skin flaps and grafts to release contractures and provide additional skin when required.