New Laser Treatment for Burn Victims

Creating a burn on top of an existing burn via laser may seem like a controversial idea, however an innovative laser treatment is doing just that and having remarkable results for burn patients.

Fractional laser resurfacing has been around for several years, but its use as a treatment available to burn patients that avoids damage to the epidermis is relatively new.  A non-ablative laser is less invasive and conducts heat deeper into the dermis, essentially bypassing the top layer of skin to treat the skin tissue beneath. For people who have suffered burn injuries, the treatment can minimize disfigurement and improve functionality of scarred tissue.

Fractional laser resurfacing vaporizes the scar by heating the skin up to over 100 degrees Celsius.  Traditional non-ablative lasers have shown limited results in treating severe skin conditions, but fractional laser treatments are proving promising for burn victims.    Fractional lasers are different in the way in which they transfer the laser light to the skin. Healthy tissue is able to accelerate the recovery of damaged tissue and the scarred area is replaced by brand new healthy collagen.

At the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Conference in April, Dr. Jill Waibel, M.D. medical director at Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute stated that “…fractional ablative lasers have become an amazing tool for correcting both the aesthetic and functionality issues presented by serious burn scars”.   Because severe burn scars typically get worse several months after initial treatment, doctors find the best results are achieved when the scarring is treated early.  Therefore the severity of the scar can be minimized and the range of function and motion is increased.

Lt. Col. Chad Hivnor, an air-force doctor is using fractional laser treatment for hundreds of service men and women who have suffered burn injuries.  Hivnor, a program director at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center on Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas has a passion for helping people.  He has been positively impacting the lives of many burn victims with his fractional laser treatment.  It is a relatively simple procedure, but one that few doctors in the country perform.

Treatment is heavily dependent upon the size and severity of the area to be treated but typically involves dual sessions between 10 minutes and 120 minutes in length. Under normal circumstances the procedure requires local anesthesia in combination with an oral or IV sedative but can be performed as a day procedure for burn patients.

Although fractional resurfacing is a promising new treatment for burn scars, researchers agree that the best results for burn survivors will be always be achieved via collaboration with multiple specialists, therapies and treatments.

For a Free Consultation with an attorney at the Burn Injury Firm, call us at 866-293-2615.