There are several reasons why someone may require reconstructive surgery, including congenital defects, cancer, trauma, illness and burns that affect facial appearance and function. When the soft tissues and facial bones are damaged, it can affect the person’s ability to talk or eat comfortably and blink or smile.
Our oral surgeons are skilled in facial reconstruction designed to improve function and appearance, ensuring the patient feels more comfortable. We often collaborate closely with other specialists, including prosthodontists and plastic surgeons, when completing complex reconstructive surgery.
Facial reconstruction surgery may involve the following procedures:
When reconstructing a person’s facial structures, it may be necessary to use tissues from another site from their body. Our oral surgeon may remove skin, muscle or bone to help reconstruct new facial features. However, this approach isn’t always possible, and when this is the case, we can use prosthetic devices and implants to help restore more natural-looking facial features and contours.
Before the surgery takes place, we conduct a thorough examination and review the patient’s medical history to assess whether using their tissues is possible or whether a prosthetic is more appropriate. Facial reconstruction may take place in our office when only minor surgery is needed. More extensive and complex surgery is carried out in a hospital setting and where we will use a general anaesthetic to ensure patients are comfortably asleep through the process.
We understand the prospect of reconstruction can seem a little overwhelming, but our experienced and compassionate team are here to help patients, and we always encourage people to contact us if they are concerned in any way after surgery or experience any unexpected changes, especially severe discomfort or pain.
Before surgery, we always discuss the anticipated recovery process thoroughly. The discussion includes what to expect, how to care for the surgery site, which activities are allowed during healing and those best avoided. We also discuss other important aspects of recovery such as eating, sleeping and medications necessary to aid recovery and ensure the patient feels minimal discomfort. The length of time required to recover after facial reconstruction depends on the degree of facial reconstruction required, the person’s age and general health.
Our surgeons always take tremendous care to reduce the appearance of scars, hiding the incisions wherever possible. When scars are visible, they will eventually heal to form thin lines. After facial reconstruction, it is extremely important to keep all follow-up appointments so we can monitor recovery closely.