Facial Trauma

Incidents of facial trauma may require one or more reconstructive procedures to restore form and function.

Indications for Facial Reconstruction

Dr. Morse may recommend facial reconstruction surgery for a variety of reasons. If you have experienced the following, you may be a good candidate for this surgery:

  • Head, face or jaw injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Tumors
  • Deformities
  • Birth Defects

In the event of facial trauma, you should seek emergency medical care. A doctor should always evaluate your condition if you're experiencing pain, altered sensation, visual disturbance, uneven facial anatomy, or other unusual symptoms.

Using an X-ray or CT scan, a doctor will determine if you need to undergo reconstructive surgery or treatment for a facial fracture. Areas such as the cheekbone, nose, jaw and eye sockets will be examined. If, during this examination, you present a serious fracture or deformity, facial reconstruction may be necessary.

Facial Reconstruction with Dr. Morse

To restore normal facial structure, this surgery may require several advanced techniques. If the patient has a facial fracture, the bones need to be fixated just like any other broken bone in the body. However, because a cast cannot be used on the face, a special fixation device consisting of metal plates and screws will hold the bones in place.

In more complex cases, other steps may be necessary:

  • Bone grafts may need to be taken from the skull, pelvis, or ribs
  • Facial bones may need repositioning and fixation (rigid fixation)
  • Jaws may need to be wired together

Facial reconstruction often requires several hours and is performed under general anesthesia, so the patient sleeps through the entire operation. In some cases, a tracheotomy may be necessary to ensure that swelling does not obstruct the patient's breathing.

The goal of your reconstructive surgeon is to restore normal facial appearance and function. In doing so, he or she will seek to minimize risks and residual signs of the operation. When surgical incisions are necessary, they are small in size and few in number. If possible, the incisions are well hidden. Now that plastic surgeons use the latest techniques in rigid fixation, recovering from facial bone reconstruction takes less time than it did in previous years.

To learn more about facial trauma and facial reconstruction, contact the office of Dr. Martin Morse in Great Falls, Virginia.