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Facial Trauma

In a fraction of a second, an injury to the delicate and complex structure of the face can change a life forever and cause life-long scarring – both physical and emotional. Repair of the face after trauma begins with a complete head and neck inspection by Dr. Ransom, including neurological examination, focusing on functional abnormalities (e.g., facial weakness, chewing or smiling deficits, corneal exposure, sensory changes, etc.) and structural issues. In cases where facial bones have been fractured, surgery may be indicated and often includes repair with titanium plates, screws, and wires.

Aesthetic facial restoration (including secondary trauma repair) entails removal of unsightly contractions or scars with subsequent recreation of facial features, using innovative methods of tissue repair. If any portion of the bony architecture of the face has been damaged, a three-dimensional (3D) computer image (CT scan) of the defect is created. In addition, computer programs (“morphing” software) can be used to demonstrate to you, before treatment, the possible appearance once complete healing has occurred. Working from these images, Dr. Ransom utilizes the patient’s own body tissues (bone, cartilage, and skin) to recreate facial shape and symmetry. In some severe cases, the underlying structure must be supported using tiny, biologically compatible titanium plates and mesh or silicone-based plastic (Silastic) implants. After surgery, you can be taught camouflage techniques by a skilled make-up artist, to help you hide incision sites and blend in blemishes or any residual irregularities. Custom-blended foundation can be formulated to match your skin tone and further hide any residual scarring, especially during the healing process.

Facial distortions are evaluated by photographs and computer imaging at the initial consultation, and a surgical program is designed to restore your delicate facial balance and symmetry. In some cases this may include removal or replacement of previously-placed facial plates, use of functional or endoscopic nasal surgery techniques, or even skin, bone, or cartilage grafting. Dr. Ransom uses sophisticated techniques of meticulous tissue rearrangement (local flap reconstruction) and scar revision to restore your facial features to a more natural (“not-operated”) appearance. While persistent scars cannot always be avoided, medical, surgical, and non-invasive options are available, including modern laser technology, local and topical steroids, chemical peels, and dermabrasion. Alone or in combination, each of these modalities can flatten and camouflage the unsightly appearance of scars.

Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.