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J Trauma. 1983 Nov;23(11):1001-4.

Early excision and grafting vs. nonoperative treatment of burns of indeterminant depth: a randomized prospective study.


Compared to nonoperative treatment with silver sulfadiazine cream, early excision and grafting of 22 patients with indeterminant burns of less than 20% TBSA resulted in an average shorter hospitalization, lower cost, and less time away from work than 25 patients treated nonoperatively. While early excision and grafting resulted in increased use of blood products and operating room facilities, this did not result in increased patient morbidity. Long-term followup demonstrated no difference in need for reconstruction, incidence of blisters, incidence of loss of motion, or contour irregularities. Those patients treated nonoperatively required more late grafts for closure and demonstrated more hypertrophic scarring. Those treated by early excision demonstrated more mesh graft irregularity. We conclude that in otherwise healthy patients with dermal burns of indeterminant depth less than 20% total body surface area, early excision and grafting is the preferred form of treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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