If you have ever experienced a traumatic injury, or know somebody that has, then you are aware that it is one of the most physically and emotionally draining experiences that an individual and their loved ones can go through. Even though people handle trauma differently, the help of a skilled and reputable plastic surgeon could prove to be invaluable to the recovery process. They will help you understand the options that you have as well as designing a treatment plan that will cater to your needs.
What is Traumatic Injury?
Blunt and sharp trauma may entail deep abrasions, lacerations, and tears to the skin and fat layers. Traumatic injury also includes deep soft tissue injuries that may affect the muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels.
Although you can easily see external injuries, their severity is not something that you can easily comprehend. As such, your doctor will need to comprehensively check your wounds to determine the right course of action.
Nevertheless, when it comes to assessing trauma, there are four main classifications used by medics and they include:
- Soft tissue injuries
This kind of injury typically involves skin lacerations as well as gum damage.
- Bone Injuries
This involves injuries to your facial bones such as the jaw, nose, cheek, eye sockets, and palates.
- Avulsed teeth
Also known as ‘knocked-out teeth’, this kind of injury needs to be given prominent priority to raise the patient’s chances of having a successful tooth reimplantation.
- Special regions
This involves injuries to the nerves in the salivary glands, eyes, or face.
Our bodies are made up of a rather delicate combination of skin, muscles, and bones which are very susceptible to injury from relatively small blows or forces. Thus, if a trauma causing injury happens to you or those you love, seeking the immediate help of a certified plastic surgeon that can perform facial reconstructive surgery will greatly enhance the chances of making a full recovery.
Nevertheless, our center provides expert and compassionate care for the following traumas:
- Craniofacial deformities
- Facial deformities
- Complex wounds such as burns
- Extremity injuries
Why a person might need facial reconstructive surgery
The biggest reason this type of surgery is done is to restore or at least try to get the face back to its original form. Even though repairing your aesthetics is of critical importance, reconstructive surgery also aims at alleviating the numerous dental and health that may arise.
Facial injuries could have serious implications such as impacting your ability to breathe, speak, or swallow. While the ER doctor can control some of these issues, patients will still need further medical assistance from various specialists to return them to optimum form.
The most common dental issues that may surface due to facial trauma include:
- Loss of Function
Damage to the teeth may cause a myriad of issues which includes problems such as the inability to speak, bite, or chew
- Increased risk of infection and disease
If a gap materializes as a result of teeth being knocked out or due to extraction, the gap should be filled as soon as possible. This will lower the probability of the remaining teeth shifting their position to try and cover the open space. This might increase your chances of getting periodontal disease as well as tooth decay
- Irregularities with the bite and jawbone
Facial trauma will often cause teeth to get badly aligned which can lead to complications such as the TMJ disorder
- Unsightly Appearance
It goes without saying that the aftermath of a facial trauma often results in teeth that are unsightly. Fortunately, reconstructive surgery will help improve your damaged teeth aesthetic as well as enhancing their functionality
Facial trauma treatment options
In the wake of an accident or any other trauma to the face, the immediate step is to control any life-threatening injury in order to stabilize the patient. Severe injuries to the mid and lower face will commonly result in the blockage of airways due to loose bone fragments or excessive bleeding. These are the issues that will need to be dealt with first before attempting any other treatment.
Once the patient is out of immediate danger, craniofacial reconstruction is the most suitable treatment option to correct cosmetic damage as well as restore functionality.
This is a facial reconstructive procedure that is used to repair the jaw, face, and skull after a traumatic incident. The complexity of this procedure will vary among patients depending on the type and extent of their injury.
Nevertheless, the first step in this treatment is to map out a plan in order to diagnose and visualize the injury. This is achieved by using tools such as digital tomography and X-rays to construct a detailed map of the patient’s facial structure. This allows the plastic surgeon to assess the extent of damage as well as being able to determine how to go about the reconstruction.
Depending on specific cases, these plans typically also include:
- Rhinoplasty to repair the appearance and functionality of the nose
- Prosthetics and bone grafts to repair and heal fractured bones
- Tissue and skin implants
Reconstructive surgery is extensive, and a patient might require several sessions for good results. After reconstructive surgery, the face may swell up for up to three months as it heals; it is a gradual process that ensures you heal properly.
Additional steps such as getting an after-care plan and routine checkups should help the patient get back to their normal lives.
Hopefully, you will never have to experience this kind of treatment. However, in case of unfortunate circumstances, you should be in good hands of the skilled and board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Andres Bustillo. Dr. Bustillo has extensive experience in reconstructive surgery in Miami, and has helped numerous people to get back to their normal lives after a trauma causing accident.