The term trauma refers to any serious, or body-altering injury sustained as a result of impact or accident. Such injuries vary in severity and type, but most commonly include lacerations, burns, and fractures.
Complex trauma often requires consultation with plastic surgeons, who assist with the inpatient and outpatient management of these cases. Some patients may need reconstructive surgery for trauma after the initial wounds have healed.
The goals of reconstructive surgery are to improve both the function and the cosmetic appearance of scars. This involves altering scar tissue, with both operative and non-operative treatment.
Although surgery will not be able to remove a patient's scars completely, it will help improve basic functions and make scars less visible. Scarring can restrict the normal motion of the neck, shoulder, hands, or legs, which is why reconstructive surgery is so vital.
Communication with Dr Phiri is crucial in reaching your goals. During your first consultation, you will have the opportunity to explain the results you'd like to see from surgery. Together, you and Dr Phiri will reach an understanding about what you can expect from procedures and the long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and Dr Phiri will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you.
The type of surgery you receive will vary according to the severity of your injuries. Skin grafts, skin rearrangement and more complex skin donor flaps could be used, depending on the location of the scar and a patient’s goals. Tissue expansion may also be used as an alternative to skin grafting.
After surgery, you will need to attend follow up appointments so Dr Phiri can assess your long-term results and answer any questions you may have.