Face ReconstructioHead and face reconstruction is surgery to repair or reshape deformities of the head and face (craniofacial).
Deformity may arise from numerous causes :
How surgery for head and face deformities (craniofacial reconstruction) is done depends on the type and severity of deformity, and the patient's condition. Surgical repairs involve the skull (cranium), brain, nerves, eyes, facial bones, and facial skin. That is why sometimes a plastic surgeon (for skin and face) and a neurosurgeon (brain and nerves) work together. Head and neck surgeons also perform craniofacial reconstruction operations.
The surgery is done while you are deep asleep and pain-free (under general anesthesia). The surgery may take 4 to 12 hours or more. Some of the bones of the face are cut and moved. During the surgery, tissues are moved and blood vessels and nerves are reconnected using microscopic surgery techniques.
Pieces of bone (bone grafts) may be taken from the pelvis, ribs, or skull to fill in spaces where bones of the face and head were moved. Small metal screws and plates may be used to hold the bones in place. The jaws may be wired together to hold the new bone positions in place. To cover the holes, flaps may be taken from the hand, buttocks, chest wall, or thigh.
Sometimes the surgery causes swelling of the face, mouth, or neck, which may last for weeks. This can block the airway. For this, you will need to have a temporary tracheotomy. This is a small hole that is made in your neck through which a tube (endotracheal tube) is placed in the airway (trachea). This allows you to breathe when your face and upper airway are swollen.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Craniofacial reconstruction may be done if there are :
Birth defects and deformities from conditions such as :
- Apert syndrome
- Cleft lip or palate
- Crouzon disease
- Hypertelorism (abnormally wide space between the eyes)
- Moebius syndrome
- Treacher-Collins syndrome
- Deformities caused by surgery done to treat tumors
- Injuries to the head, face, or jaw
Risks of anesthesia are :
- Problems breathing
- Reactions to medications
- Nerve (cranial nerve dysfunction) or brain damage
- Need for follow-up surgery, especially in growing children
- Partial or total loss of bone grafts
- Permanent scarring
- Have poor nutrition
- Have other medical conditions, such as lupus
- Have poor blood circulation
- Have past nerve damage