What is the facial reconstruction?
Facial reconstruction comprises all surgical techniques to recover the appearance and functions of the lost face after an accident or the removal of a tumor of head and neck. It requires mastery of multiple reconstructive procedures, from the simplest as a skin graft to the famous face transplants involving different specialists.
Each face is unique and is characterized by a particular bone and tooth structure and coverage of soft tissue (skin, muscle and fat) varies with age. The face partly determines our character and is the main organ of our emotions. Thus the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is the only medical specialty that deals specifically with the problems of the mouth and face, given its aesthetic importance and functions located in the area such as chewing, speech, mimicry, vision, smell and hearing.
Which patients benefit from these techniques?
On the one hand, there are patients affected by skin of the face, increasingly frequent cancer and require the removal and reconstruction of said skin by techniques using the next redundant zones to default. In medical jargon they are called "local flaps". The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and reconstructive main goal is to leave a scar imperceptible.
On the other, are patients in need of reconstruction after being operated or treated with radiotherapy for cancer of the tongue, mouth or jaw. Require the use of more complex techniques that mobilize tissues (skin, muscle or bone) in regions close to the face or more remote area such as the abdomen, limbs or back of the patient. We use regional flaps employing skin and muscle that keep your blood flow of arteries and close to the head veins and microsurgical flaps employing skin, muscles or bones in more remote areas and require meticulous suture of the artery and vein nourishes blood vessels in the neck. Besides preserving the previous aspect of the patient, the main reconstructive goal is to maintain functionality, speech, swallowing, chewing and facial mobility.
Finally in private practice the third reconstructive challenge that one faces are the consequences of facial trauma. Especially the aftermath of fractures of the eye socket and nose. These problems make it very important limitations such as double vision or difficulty breathing. The loss of facial symmetry is an important stigma for the patient,
What risks may involve this operation?
As with any surgical procedure there are risks associated with anesthesia risks inherent in each technique and disease and risks associated with the patient's medical history. Complications are directly related to the severity of the process, intervention time, health status, age of the patient and surgeon experience. In addition, bleeding, infection and total or partial loss of the flap may appear. It is important to know that all solvable.
What kind of care should be the patient after surgery?
Depending on the severity of the process and the reconstructive technique patients can be operated on an outpatient basis, without income, with removal of stitches a week in the office or hospital admissions require higher at 10 days.
What results offer?
Excellent, but it is vital to use the proper technique for each patient and disease, extensive experience in treating such cases, the use of 3D technology planning and adequate monitoring. Good communication with the patient and family is essential to understand the goals of treatment, the expected results and the complexity of the reconstructive process that sometimes require several interventions.