If necrotising fasciitis leaves a patient with a large open wound, plastic surgery will be required to help close the defect and improve the visual appearance.
Why is plastic surgery needed after necrotising fasciitis?
Necrotising fasciitis is an aggressive bacterial infection often referred to as the ‘flesh-eating disease’. This nickname is slightly misleading as the bacteria do not actually eat the flesh; rather, they release a poisonous chemical that damages the tissue, causing it to break down. Within a matter of hours this will block the flow of blood to the tissue, diminishing the oxygen supply and causing the tissue to die – or in medical terms, become necrotic.
When the tissue breaks down and becomes necrotic, an open wound will develop. It does therefore appear as though the bacteria are eating the flesh. This open wound will become increasingly larger in size as the bacteria reproduce and spread. If the bacteria are not stopped in the early stages with antibiotics and surgical debridement, this will leave a gaping hole. For some patients this will reach down to the bone and/or will extend across an entire limb.
Because of this large open defect, plastic surgeons are often involved in the treatment of patients with necrotising fasciitis. Skin grafts and other techniques are initially used to help close the wound. Once a patient has started to recover, further operations can be carried out to improve the aesthetic appearance.
Paying for further medical treatment
If you have needed plastic surgery after necrotising fasciitis, you might be worried about whether or not you can afford further treatment, as procedures to improve appearance might not be carried out on the NHS. However, there may be a way to secure the money you need, as you might be able to make a medical negligence claim.
Indeed, if your necrotising fasciitis was so extensive that you required plastic surgery, you need to question whether medical error is to blame for your injuries. Did doctors fail to realise you had necrotising fasciitis when you first presented, delaying a diagnosis? Did doctors have an opportunity to provide earlier treatment, which would have prevented the bacteria from spreading? Would better medical care have limited the extent of your injury?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you may be the victim of medical negligence. This means that medical professionals failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, causing you to sustain unnecessary injury. You will therefore be entitled to compensation for the emotional and physical pain and suffering this has caused. You will also be able to recover the financial loss you have incurred, including the cost of future treatment.
Claim compensation today
Contact us today to begin your necrotising fasciitis compensation claim.