The aim of plastic reconstructive facial surgery is primarily to restore shape and function after tumor removal surgery, accidents and congenital malformations. Surgical repair of all affected tissues (e.g. skin, fat, muscles, bones and nerves) is targeted. All modern reconstruction methods are used.
How can plastic surgeons help?
It is very important to make a specific treatment plan for each patient!
There are several options for facial reconstruction, depending on the type and size of the defect.
Microsurgery flap surgery
Extensive soft tissue and bone defects, such as those that arise after the removal of tumors in or around the mouth or that occur as a result of severe facial trauma (traffic accidents, gunshot wounds), are reconstructed with the help of so-called microsurgical flaps. These are tissues (skin, muscle, bone or combinations) that are transplanted with the vessels that supply them. The vessels (artery and vein) are connected under the surgical microscope to vessels near the defect so that the transplanted tissue parts are directly connected to the bloodstream and can therefore heal optimally. Depending on the quality of tissue that is needed for the reconstruction, transplants from the forearm and upper arm, from the shoulder or back, from the thigh, from the hip and calf bone are used.
Local tissue flaps
If the skin defects are not so extensive as mentioned above such as after the removal of benign or malignant skin tumors, mucosal changes or traumatic defects they can restored with aesthetically pleasing results. We use various plastic surgical techniques to close this with tissue that is present near the defect.
For local defects or wounds, with enough underlying tissue and in an anatomically suitable area, skin grafts are a reliable and safe technique. Depending on the area of the face, skin grafts can lead to pleasing results but should not be the only solution in certain aesthetically challenging areas.
In this technique, where a reservoir is planted under the skin, we increase the volume. This way we can create an excess of the surface of the skin, which, after removal of the reservoir, serves to cover the defect locally. Larger defects can be reconstructed locally using this technique.
Deciding on the appropriate reconstruction method requires a high level of professional competence and a lot of experience in the field of plastic reconstructive facial surgery in the head and neck area. An individual solution for each patient, depending on the clinical picture and the patient's wishes, represents the medical basis for a patient-oriented, successful, aesthetic and functionally appealing treatment concept.
Dr Nina Schwaiger for realplasticsurgeon.eu