Surgical Repair of the Acute Burn Wound: Who, When, What Techniques? What Is the Future?

Jorge Leon-Villapalos, Juan P. Barret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Modern burns surgery is multidisciplinary, multimodal and includes a dermal preservation approach. The management of the surgical wound starts in the pre-hospital environment with stabilization and assessment of the burn injured patient according to protocols of trauma resuscitation with special emphasis in the assessment of the burn depth and surface area. A large burn requires fluid resuscitation and physiological support, including counterbalancing hyper metabolism, fighting infection and starting a long burns intensive care journey. A deep burn may impose the need for surgical debridement and cover through a staged approach of excision of devitalized tissue depending on its extension and patient circumstances. These methodologies warrant patients survivability and require professionals integrated in a multidisciplinary team sharing decisions and directing management. Burns Multimodality involves multiple techniques used according to patient's needs, wound environment, operators experience and available resources. Traditional practices used together with new techniques may reduce morbidity and operative time but also challenge stablished practice. The concept of using the best teams with the best techniques combines with the need for selective and judicious surgery that preserves tissue architecture and spares as much as possible dermal component, therefore reducing the possibility of functional impairment and cosmetic embarrassment caused by pathological scars. Who is best placed to perform these tasks, the appropriate or best timing of surgery and the different practices used to achieve best results will be discussed, together with a reflection on what the future holds for these fundamental steps in the management of the burn injured patient turning into a functional burn survivor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S5-S12
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of burn care & research : official publication of the American Burn Association
Issue numberSuppl_1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Burns/surgery
  • Cicatrix/pathology
  • Debridement/methods
  • Humans
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Wound Healing


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