Facial trauma, an injury to your face, can lead to pain, loss of function, and even an altered appearance.
Loss of facial function can include problems with eye closing, chewing, speaking, and breathing.
Expert surgeons from the facial plastic and reconstructive surgery team will help treat these injuries with care to restore the function of the damaged structures, while trying to restore the critical balance and harmony of the face that may have been damaged.
Some situations that might lead to facial trauma include:
- Gunshot wounds
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
If you have experienced facial trauma, UHealth's facial plastic and reconstructive surgery experts can help repair your injuries.
Who is a Candidate?
Patients with injuries to the bones of the face might be candidates for facial reconstructive surgery. The affected bones might include your:
- Mandible (lower jaw)
- Maxilla (upper jaw)
- Orbital bones around the eye
Many facial trauma injuries also include soft tissue injuries, including cuts, burns, swelling, bruising, or bleeding. Your physician may treat soft tissue injuries through stitches, surgery, or other means, including anti-inflammatory medications.
What to Expect During Facial Trauma Repair
Before your surgery
For non-emergency situations, you will meet with your physician to discuss the procedure and your goals for how your face looks and functions.
At the start of your procedure
You will receive general anesthesia (where an anesthesiologist will put you in a sleep-like state). Your surgeon will then repair the bones of the face. This treatment may include placing screws and plates to hold the bones together so that they can heal, which will remain in your face permanently after surgery. You may also receive grafts of living tissue, either yours or a donor’s, to replace any lost bone or cartilage. If you’ve experienced an injury to your mandible or maxilla, your surgeon may wire your jaw shut while it heals, if necessary
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may stay in the hospital.
You may go on a liquid diet if your jaw is wired shut or your trauma impacts your chewing. You may experience pain, swelling, bruising, or numbness in the area affected. You will need to rest your face, including limiting laughing or smiling during your recovery. Cold packs or pain relievers will help ease any discomfort.
A week after the procedure, you may be asked to return so your care team can remove any stitches. To ensure the affected area is healing properly and the procedure achieved your goals, you will likely need to attend follow up visits.
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