Getting Your Life Back
Severe injuries to the head and face can cause deformities that are hard to deal with, as can congenital and developmental problems and diseases like cancer. On top of the physical issues that can come with these type injuries, the emotional and psychological scars can also cause overwhelming stress.
When you aren’t sure if you’ll ever look “normal” again, it can be a disturbing time. Most people turn to a plastic surgeon for their input on a strategy to move forward and get their life back.
However, when it involves the skull and face, there is much more involved. Surgical repairs also include the brain, nerves, eyes, bones, and skin, so this requires the plastic surgeon to work with a neurosurgeon so the procedure is successful.
Here’s more on what happens during facial reconstructive surgery:
The surgery is done while you are deep asleep and pain-free (under general anesthesia). The surgery may take 4 to 12 hours or more. Some of the bones of the face are cut and moved. During the surgery, tissues are moved and blood vessels and nerves are reconnected using microscopic surgery techniques.
Pieces of bone (bone grafts) may be taken from the pelvis, ribs, or skull to fill in spaces where bones of the face and head were moved. Small metal screws and plates may be used to hold the bones in place. Implants may also be used. The jaws may be wired together to hold the new bone positions in place. To cover the holes, flaps may be taken from the hand, buttocks, chest wall, or thigh.
Read the full post here: Head and Face Reconstruction
There can be swelling following the surgery that may last for weeks. Because of this, your airway could become blocked so an endotracheal tube may need to be placed in your neck to allow you to breathe without worrying about an obstructed airway.
Reasons for Face and Head Reconstruction Surgery
Cancer is one of the main reasons for reconstruction surgery of the head and face. When the cancerous area is removed, it usually leaves a defect that requires plastic surgery to correct.
Other situations where facial reconstruction is needed are congenital or developmental issues such as cleft palate or ear deformities. Automobile accidents, assault, and burns are other reasons for facial reconstruction.
In this video, the patient has Crouzon Syndrome, which causes premature fusion of facial bones preventing the skull from growing normally:
It’s heartbreaking when the patients are young people just trying to fit in and have a normal life. If your child is born with a disfiguring condition or has an injury that leaves permanent damage, there are pediatric reconstructive surgeons that can help you determine the best treatment available.
Cleft lip and palate, a congenital issue resulting in a hole in the roof of the mouth that goes to the nose, and the repair requires suturing the two sides of the lip together. The surgeon uses tissue from around the mouth to fill in the gap and the resulting scar blends in with the lip.
This post offers two additional common plastic surgeries for kids:
Reconstructing the ear to make it a normal size will likely require three surgeries over a period of time. In some cases, a child may need an artificial or prosthetic ear, which also requires several surgeries.
Repairing the ear can take anywhere from two to four surgeries. The reconstructive surgeon may recommend using the child’s ribs to reconstruct the ear or may decide that an alloplast — synthetic material — would be best.
For a child born with a small jaw or receding chin, a reconstructive surgeon can correct the condition through several kinds of surgery. Most commonly, the reconstructive surgeon will cut the jawbone, a procedure known as an osteotomy, to reposition it using titanium screws and plates, eliminating the need to wire the teeth together.
Another technique, distraction osteogenesis, splits the jawbone and then moves the jawbone slowly by inserting a screw either inside the mouth or outside and turning it periodically over a few weeks. The advantage of the distraction technique is that it simultaneously increases bone length and the volume of the soft tissue around the bones.
There are organizations that help kids in developing countries, such as Face the Future Foundation, providing free surgical procedures.
See the original post here: Pediatric Reconstruction Surgeries
There are organizations that help kids get back to a normal life by offering low-cost plastic surgery, such as Face The World. It’s groups of doctors who go to developing countries where parents don’t have the resources to help their children.
There are also support groups for people with a facial disfigurement, like ChangingFace.org. If you have a need or know someone who does, find a Southern California area cosmetic surgeon to learn more.