Injury to the facial bone structure can result in facial fractures, which can affect the soft tissue of the face as well. Facial fracture repair helps ensure that men and women heal properly following an accident or injury, helping them retain full facial function as well as their good looks.
Contact us online today to learn more about facial fracture repair. The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas helps men and women from Austin, Round Rock and throughout Texas.
Overview of Facial Fractures
Just like any other injury, facial fractures may be minor or more serious. They can include fractures of the upper or lower jaw, the cheekbones, the nose, the forehead and even the eye sockets. Depending on the extent of the injuries, the repair process may also address areas such as the lips, tongue and skin, including the eyelids. Facial fractures are classified as Le Fort I, II or III fractures depending on their location.
Facial fracture surgery may need to be performed in stages. An initial treatment is performed as soon as possible after the injury or incident. This might be followed with a second surgery performed months or sometimes years after the first. The course of treatment depends on how age and other changes impact the results of the earlier surgery. The extent of the initial injury is a factor as well.
Facial fractures may occur during contact sports like football or soccer, or during a crash while riding a skateboard or bicycle. They can also occur after a car accident, fist fight or any incident that involves a forceful blow to the face.
In some cases, the symptoms of facial fractures may be very minor, like simple bruising or swelling. Because of this, many fractures go untreated until other symptoms are noticed later on. For example, the patient may feel that his or her teeth don’t align properly anymore, or notice that one cheekbone looks sunken. In these cases, facial fracture surgery repairs the old damage to improve the appearance and return full function to the area.
Understanding the Procedure
The process for repairing facial fractures depends on the level of correction needed as well as the location of the injury. Often, a combination approach is used for the best results. For example, wires, plates and screws can be used to stabilize the bone structure, while dermal fillers are then used to restore lost volume in soft tissue. In cases of injury to the nose, cosmetic nose surgery may be needed to address the physical appearance of the nose, while internal damage may need a septoplasty to repair.
The primary concern in facial fracture repair surgery is to minimize the potential for abnormal healing with early treatment. Left alone, further surgeries for functional and aesthetic purposes may be needed later on. These can be avoided with prompt treatment to ensure proper healing instead.
Recovery and Results
Most of our Texas patients experience some initial discomfort after their facial fracture repair, which varies depending on the level of correction needed. Bruising and swelling are expected, along with evidence of any surface injuries that were sustained at the time. For example, cuts or lacerations still need to heal even though they are not related to the surgery. Patients return to work when they feel comfortable, usually within a week or two after surgery. Again, this is dependent on the extent of any other injury.
The doctors at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas have helped many people needing facial fracture repair. Trust our team to help you look and feel whole again.