Young Burn Victim Undergoes Surgery to Minimize Extensive Scarring

Dr. Russell Ashinoff Performs Surgical Procedure to Minimize 15-Year-Old’s Extensive Scarring

When she was three years old, Taylor Weil was severely burned in a home accident. Today, with the skill of plastic surgeon Dr. Russell Ashinoff of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in New Jersey, Weil is an active and happy 15-year-old.

Immediately following the accident, the Bayville, New Jersey resident underwent a full thickness skin graft to her chest and left arm. As she grew up, her mother Heather recounts that Taylor was severely self-conscious due to the extensive scarring. She only wore long-sleeved tops even in 90-degree summer weather, jumped through hoops to avoid peers see her change for gym class and never wore a swimsuit in public, avoiding pool parties her whole life.

Waiting for her body to develop, at age 15, she was referred to Dr. Ashinoff through a physician referral. Here is how he recounts the procedures Taylor has thus far undergone:

“Taylor was severely burned as a child and her entire right arm, underarm, and chest was affected. She was unable to lift the left arm away from her body. I placed tissue expanders in her arm to stretch the unaffected skin in the first operation and in the second operation I removed as much scar as possible and used the expanded skin to close the wound. I also did a procedure to the area under her arm to release the scar and allow her full range of motion at the shoulder, which she now has. She had a third procedure to remove a bit more scar from the forearm after that. She is doing really well and has a great result. We may repeat step 1 and 2 if she wishes to remove the remaining scarring, but she has made great progress from the original injury.”

Of Dr. Ashinoff, Heather Weil says, “The thing I loved most about him is that even though Taylor is a minor, he spoke directly to her—asking about her goal, and what she wanted to fix. I appreciate how he has treated her. His bedside manner is great. He’s easy to talk to.” The bottom line, as she puts it: “It was not just what he wanted to do; it was about what she wanted to do.”

Today, Taylor Weil wears tank tops, a major symbol of her victory over a life of emotional pain. Now, reports Heather Weil, her daughter is “a lot more comfortable with herself, and self-confident. She even has her first boyfriend.”

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