Tissue Expander Surgery for Burn Scar Removal, So Much Pain for Nothing. - Medica Sur, Mexico City, MX
I want to share this story with you guys because I...
I had an accident when I was 16 years old during a BBQ with my friends. I ended up with 3rd degree burns in 20% of my body. I received skin graft and the donor site ended up with more scarring, it was really horrible.
I really wanted the scars to be gone so badly... I tried mederma, kitoscell, silicone sheets, steroids, etc. but I had very little improvement. 4 years after my accident I decided to do something about it and my mom who is a nurse recommended me a doctor from a famous public hospital here in Mexico city. He suggested the tissue expander technique, which goes pretty much like this: They insert a ballon under the healthy skin adjacent to the scar and then they injected it with water so new skin grows to get rid of the scar tissue (getting a new thinner scar). I have scars in my tights and tummy, but the doctor said he could only treat the tummy because the skin is more flexible in this area.
I consulted with a couple more doctors. Some of them warned me about this procedure since they said it required extremely high qualifications and it was very traumatic. But I did not listen, I trusted the other doctor, worst decision.
I had to pay so much for the balloon, and I underwent general anesthesia to have it inserted. I won't tell you how strange it feels to have a foreign silicon balloon under your skin. But then the worst came later: I had to go every week to have it filled up with water. That was extremly painful, almost the same as the burn.. I could not stand it and even the strongest pain killers would not make any effect.... One of the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, it lasted the whole day... Once I had to go back to the surgeon office and ask him to remove some water cause I felt I was going to die.
After all this pain every time he injected some water during 6 weeks, it was time to do the surgery. I underwent again general anesthesia, the ballon was removed and the new scar was created. No one ever told me about the side effects from this:
1) I ended up with a much elongated but thinner scar, which is more red and visible than the previous skin graft scar, which was almost the same color of my skin tone. Today the scar is still reddish.
2) It was in 2008, and today 2014, sadly, the part of my tummy where the ballon was placed is totally numb, I can't feel anything at all.
3) My belly button was shifted to the left. It looks so asymmetric now, I never realized how perfect my belly button was until the surgery, I missed it so much.
4) I was left with asymmetrical fat distribution. The doctor help me with a bit of mini liposuction but at the end I still have much more fat on the left side of my tummy. The love handle where the ballon was placed is gone, it really bothers me to the point that I want to get liposuction.
After all the money, the pain, the risks, I can't say I gain any improvement to my scar, I made it even worst
So in case you are thinking about undergoing with this treatment maybe you should think twice, or find an expert surgeon in this field. Nowadays I have treated my scars with lassers, and the results are modest but still worthy.. you can check my other review about this.
He is an ok guy but I guess he had no experience at all in this procedure. I wish he had warned me about the pain and the side effects of the procedure before undergoing it. After the surgery, he simply did not recognized the asymmetry in my tummy and offered me no solutions for it.