Jay Leno's Burn Injuries And Surgeries Explained By Medical Director, Who Raised Caution Over The Comedian's Optimism

Jay Leno on Jay Leno's Garage on CNBC
(Image credit: CNBC)

The world hoped for the best after news broke that Jay Leno was injured by a car catching fire in his garage, but the former host of The Tonight Show was quick to jokingly brush off sympathies. Leno originally stated that he expected to need a “week or two” to recover, and early reports had him cracking jokes, with his overall optimism making it appear as if things weren't so serious. Now, a medical director from the burn center where Leno is recovering has opened up in sharing details about the comedian's injuries, as well as a rough timeline for the future, and suffice it to say, he raised caution over the comedian sounding too optimistic. 

Peter H. Grossman, medical director of the Grossman Burn Center, gave a televised news conference (via THR) that addressed what’s going on with Jay Leno’s injuries. Grossman revealed that Leno is in as good of spirits as advertised, but still had a road to travel with his recovery. Grossman confirmed that Leno sustained burns on his face, hands, and chest, with the burns varying from second-degree to more severe. 

Grossman shared that Jay Leno’s facial burns were a bit more complicated, and described them as “deeper and more concerning,” and were showing signs of progressing to third-degree burns. Treatment for the ailment has included “high-pressure oxygen therapy” to simulate healing, shaving away the damaged burns, and a temporary “biological skin substitute.” Leno has already completed one surgery and will have at least one more in the coming days. 

It sounds like Jay Leno is in good hands with his doctor, but it’s going to take some time for him to truly bounce back to full health. Peter H. Grossman shared the reality of Leno’s injuries is still serious, and that the star himself is aware of the big picture, for all of his optimism. According to the doc:

I had to tell him that he needs to step back a little bit and just realize that some of this takes time. He’s very compliant, he understands that. I think he’s realizing that he does need to perhaps take it a little slower than he initially anticipated.

Jay Leno’s obligation of hosting The Tonight Show has long been over, though he does manage to keep busy elsewhere without sitting behind a desk to chat up celebs about their latest projects. In addition to his series Jay Leno’s Garage,  Leno has appeared on sitcoms like Last Man Standing, The Kominsky Method, and has even provided some voice work for popular children’s shows. He’s also known for sharing his takes on Hollywood drama on occasion, as evidenced by his thoughts on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, though usually without much controversy involved.

Right now, there’s nothing that necessarily indicates Jay Leno will stop doing any of that, but he likely will need to take a bit more time to rest and recover before returning to his daily professional obligations. Fortunately, the news from the medical director feels positive, especially considering how scary the situation sounded when the injury was first reported. 

Check out Jay Leno’s Garage on streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription. Here’s hoping that the beloved icon is back on his feet and in better shape soon enough, and hopefully, he'll be just as optimistic as he’s been thus far. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.