The Role of the Plastic Surgeon in Dealing With Soft Tissue Injuries: Experience From the Second Israel-Lebanon War, 2006

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During the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, 282 Israeli soldiers were evacuated to Rambam Health Care Campus. Of these, 210 were admitted for observation or treatment, and 15 of these were admitted to the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Thirty-five other soldiers, hospitalized in other departments, required the care of Plastic Surgeons, either for conservative or surgical treatment. The injury profile observed was consistent with data from previous low-intensity warfare, which demonstrated that over 80% of injuries were produced by fragmentation weapons, such as artillery, mortarshells, rockets, and missiles. It differs, however, from our experience in previous wars and our expectations regarding burn wounds, both in incidence and severity, which were significantly lower as compared with the past. This article presents our management of extensive soft tissue injuries, and details 3 representative cases. It highlights the role of the Plastic Surgeon as part of the whole treatment in this type of injury and helps to predict the needs of the medical system in preparation for the future.

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