The goals of facial reconstruction are to restore your facial form and function to your normal state. Facial reconstruction includes repair of facial injuries, scar revision, and management of facial paralysis.
Scars occur as a part of the skin’s healing process following trauma or surgery. No matter how skilled your surgeon is, surgery will always leave a scar. Technically, scars are permanent. If you have a scar on an area of your body, you will always have a scar there. A scar becomes problematic when it is prominent- either raised, wide, discolored, or otherwise highly noticeable. Scar management is designed to improve the factors that make a scar disagreeable. If a scar is raised, we can lower it. If a scar is depressed, we can raise it. A widened scar can be narrowed. Depending on its location and orientation, we may choose to move or reorient a scar so it is less noticeable. Techniques for scar revision include use of steroids, dermabrasion, fillers, or surgery to thin or reorient a scar. A consultation with Dr. Schmidt will determine exactly what about a scar is bothersome and what techniques would work best to minimize a scar’s visibility.
Facial trauma includes any injury to the face. Facial lacerations can be disfiguring. Nasal fractures can disrupt your nasal aesthetics and function. Fractures to the rest of your facial skeleton can interfere with your ability to see, eat, and breathe. Facial lacerations can be easily managed in the office. With proper closure and wound care, most facial lacerations heal very satisfactorily. The nasal bones are the most commonly injured part of your body. Many nasal fractures heal well without any intervention. Surgery is reserved for fractures that deform your nose or affect your breathing. Surgical repair techniques for facial fractures are designed to restore the normal function and contour of the facial skeleton. The bones will be moved to their natural position. Usually, titanium plates are then used to hold the bones in place while healing occurs. The plates will stay in place for the rest of your life unless they cause problems. Problems are rare, but they include infection and plate exposure. Rarely, you may be able to feel the plates, but we do not consider this a problem unless they are visible.
Dr. Schmidt also offers care patients with facial paralysis. Patients’ complaints vary from simple asymmetry to functional problems including inability to close their eye or loss of oral competence. Available treatments vary based on the cause of the paralysis, the length of time, and the types of problems that patients experience.