The Role of the Plastic Surgeon in Wound Care


Although any type of surgeon closes wounds as part of his or her typical surgical care, there are some situations that require the additional expertise a plastic surgeon alone can offer. With the knowledge and skills of a combination plastic surgeon and wound care specialist, scarring may be reduced and healing improved.

Aiding Mother Nature

While wound healing is a natural process of the body, that doesn’t mean it’s simple or even predictable all the time. There are a number of issues that could contribute to difficulty in proper wound healing, including diabetes (Type I or Type II), radiation therapy following surgery, neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, and jagged wound edges due to trauma.

As a result, a multidisciplinary approach is often best for atypical wounds (although this can certainly benefit typical wound healing as well). Plastic surgeons can work in conjunction with other medical specialists to ensure that every aspect of healing is addressed in each unique individual.

Before treatment can take place, however, it’s essential to accurately determine the nature of the wound and the type of closure that will promote optimum healing and scarring. This is another area where a plastic surgeon’s eye for detail is essential.

A Skilled Touch

Plastic surgery and microsurgery often go hand in hand, and this additional technical knowledge base is often essential for ensuring optimum wound healing. Complexities such as skin grafts for severe burns, tissue transfer or wounds that seem reluctant to heal at the expected pace may all require the trained hands and eyes of a plastic surgeon with microsurgery experience.