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Surgical Treatment of Burns

Even relatively minor burns can leave scars and people who have been burned over large parts of their bodies often must deal with scarring that is disfiguring. Reconstructive surgery can reduce scarring and restore appearance to the affected area.

The reconstructive surgeons at Johns Hopkins work with the patients, their families, doctors at the Johns Hopkins Burn Center, and other medical staff to determine what kind of surgery is needed and how it will be done to restore the patient’s appearance. Surgery can provide a range of benefits, from better mobility and health to increased self-confidence.

Immediately following the injury, a surgeon may do a temporary skin graft to protect the skin from more damage and to keep the area clean as well to provide some pain relief.

After the wounds have healed, further plastic surgery may be necessary depending on the severity and area of the burn. Some patients will need skin grafts to promote healing and keep scarring to a minimum. In other cases, tissue transfer—moving skin, arteries, muscle, and nerves—may be necessary. When the face or head is involved, other types of reconstructive surgery may be called for to repair parts of the body, such as the ear.

Later, many patients opt to minimize the appearance of scars. The plastic surgeons at Johns Hopkins can use a number of techniques to decrease the size and appearance of scarring, including dermabrasion, surgical revision and laser treatment.

Visit the Burn Center to learn more about reconstruction after a burn.

Why choose Johns Hopkins for burn surgery?

At Johns Hopkins, our plastic surgeons have done thousands of reconstructive and plastic surgeries to restore appearance and functionality. They have learned about and, in many cases, taught the latest and most effective surgical techniques. In addition, because they work at Johns Hopkins, they can call on any other kind of medical expertise needed right at the facility, from orthopedists and oncologists to pediatricians and dermatologists.

Our reconstructive surgeons in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department, located in Baltimore, Maryland, are devoted to their profession and that includes consultation with the patients, their families, and others as needed. From the first consultation to the final check-up, they make themselves available and accessible to patients.

Our burn surgeons