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Burn and Wound Care Surgery

Specialists at The University of Kansas Health System provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care to adults and children with complex burns and wounds. In addition, we treat skin injuries and conditions such as frostbite, severe dermatitis and abrasions. Patients receive a continuum of advanced care that includes burn wellness programs and a burn survivor support group.

Our multidisciplinary burn care team comprises board-certified plastic surgeons, general surgeons, internal medicine specialists, dermatologists, nurses, physical therapists and nutritionists, among other medical professionals. We collaborate in research to develop advanced techniques to improve burn care for patients now and in the future.

Gene and Barbara Burnett Burn Center

The Gene and Barbara Burnett Burn Center, established more than 40 years ago, provides comprehensive inpatient care for complex burns and wounds. It is the only adult and pediatric burn care facility in the region accredited by the American Burn Association and American College of Surgeons. This recognition demonstrates the commitment and ability of our staff to care for the most critical burn injuries and dermatologic conditions. We provide advanced care for hundreds of burn survivors, both adults and children, every year.

At our location on the 5th floor of the hospital on our main campus, inpatients receive advanced care that includes:

  • Surgeries (performed in our on-site operating room)
  • Pain management
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Plastic surgery

Outpatient burn and wound care

We provide advanced outpatient and ostomy care for patients who don’t require hospitalization and for those who need follow-up care through recovery.

Patient referral

To refer a patient or arrange an emergency transfer, call 877-738-7286.

Time-Critical Diagnosis

Narrator: On any given day any of us could have a medical emergency, where our health or even our lives are on the line. In those moments, decisions matter. Where you go, and who you trust with your health, or that of a loved one. We honor that trust at The University of Kansas Hospital, with our commitment to be the most qualified source in the region for time-critical care.

Narrator: The University of Kansas Hospital is the region's only burn care facility accredited by the American Burn Association, and American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Howard: We have hydro-therapy for taking care of burns and dressings; we have dedicated ICUs and a dedicated OR, which is pretty unique.

Kayla: We see these patients every day; it is our specialty, and that's what allows us to have that increased and advanced knowledge, and really provide that best care for the burn patient.

Dr. Howard: We're very good about getting them through their hospital stay, but that's not where burn care ends. We follow these patients throughout their lives even, for months and years to come, to make sure that they're able to go back to functioning in the community and their life.

Kayla: Our main goal is ensuring that burn victims become burn survivors.

Narrator: No one can predict a medical emergency, but we can do our best to prepare for one. And knowing where to find the best care in the region is an important first step. The University of Kansas Hospital: Why would you go anywhere else?

Conditions and treatments

Cosmetic and reconstructive services

Patients with burns or complex wounds may receive plastic surgery procedures to help promote healing and reduce scarring.

Procedures include:

  • Skin graft
    This procedure uses healthy tissue and skin from elsewhere on the body to help heal wounds that are large, difficult to close, or to replace scar tissue in a deep burn.
  • Scar revision procedures
    Surgery and topical treatments can improve the appearance of burn scars and increase the flexibility of joints affected by scarring.
  • Tissue expansion
    When there is insufficient tissue around a wound to close it, we place a small balloon-like expander under the skin and gradually fill it with saline to stretch the skin.
  • Flap surgery or microsurgery
    These procedures use living tissue and possibly bone to repair severe wounds. This is provided on an outpatient basis. 

Outpatient care

Patients who don’t require hospital care and or need follow-up care to help speed recovery receive advanced care at our outpatient burn and wound care center.

Located on the hospital’s first floor, we provide specialized outpatient care that may include:

Patient Brandon Smith

Patients like Brandon rely on us. Help us do more.

Since 1973, the Gene and Barbara Burnett Burn Center has served our community as greater Kansas City's only burn center accredited by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. Our specialty-trained team helps patients like Brandon overcome potentially devastating injuries and return to physical, mental and emotional health.

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