Any type of traumatic injury will usually leave the victim with a variety of physical and emotional scars. When these scars are located in the facial area, it can be even harder to recover and move on. Fortunately, reconstructive surgery has come a long way over the years, and now there are many techniques that are used to help build up damaged areas of the face, improve the appearance of scars, and much more. It must be said, however, that despite the advances in techniques, reconstruction is far from perfect, and will not be able to restore the face to its pre-trauma appearance. Still, talented surgeons can make remarkable improvements. Here are some things you should know about what to expect from reconstructive surgery and how you should keep your expectations realistic throughout the process.
Types of Reconstructive Surgery
Reconstructive surgery can be performed on the face in nearly any area it is needed. The more common types of reconstructive surgery are reconstructive rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), reconstructive otoplasty (ear surgery), tumor excision, and scar revision procedures. The nose and ears are prone to injury during contact sports and car accidents, and nasal breaks are often set improperly, necessitating the need for techniques like osteotomy (surgically breaking or resetting the bone) to get the desired outcome. No matter which procedure you need, be sure your surgeon has ample experience in working with patients with similar problems.
The Variability of Traumatic Injuries
One of the difficult aspects of reconstructive surgery is the variability of traumatic injuries. The reconstructive surgeon must make decisions about how to proceed in repairing the injury with no precedent in many cases. Even a highly experienced reconstructive surgeon will not have seen every type of facial problem or deformity, since each reconstruction case is so unique. This is similar to the challenges of rhinoplasty, but to an even greater degree, as noses often have familiar features, while injuries often do not.
While some reconstructions are simple, like straightforward nasal injuries or a small scar revision, others are extremely complex and extensive. Patients need to be realistic about the degree of their own injuries and realize that results are likely to be relative depending on the complexity of the case. An experienced plastic surgeon should discuss this with you during your consultation.
Sometimes, one procedure is not sufficient to produce the desired results from facial reconstruction. Some procedures require skin grafts or other techniques, and some cases will require more than one surgery. Only a board certified plastic surgeon can assess your individual case.
While it would be wonderful if reconstructive surgery could completely restore pre-trauma facial aesthetics, it is important that patients maintain reasonable expectations about their procedures. For some patients, surgery can produce amazing results, for others, modest improvement. It all depends onmyriad factors, and patients should take care to temper their expectations and aim for improvement rather than perfection. With realistic expectations, a talented surgeon, and proper aftercare, most patients are very happy with their results.
Choosing the Best Surgeon
Reconstructive surgery is one of the hardest facets to master of the already difficult field of facial plastic surgery. Because it is so customized and complex, reconstruction should only be performed by a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in the practice. Plastic surgery is an art, and only a few surgeons have the talent to help a wide range of patients achieve their goals, particularly after facial trauma.
If you’d like to meet with a talented surgeon in the Toronto area, come to Revesse and meet with expert facial plastic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Mounsey. Dr. Mounsey is acclaimed, highly trained, and extremely experienced. He works with a diverse patient base to give each case customized attention and great results. If you would like to meet with Dr. Mounsey to discuss facial reconstruction, call Revesse at 416-438-2499 today.