Maxillofacial surgery is a highly unique discipline integrating surgical expertise to provide comprehensive care for a myriad of facial conditions. This surgery is used in conditions affecting the face, mouth, and jaws. Among the many applications of this surgical field, one of the most significant is treating facial trauma. Dr Mark Austin aims to shed light on how maxillofacial surgery serves as a pivotal solution in managing patients with facial trauma.
Diagnosis and Initial Treatment
First of all, maxillofacial surgeons play an integral part in the initial management of patients with facial trauma. These surgical experts are often key members of the trauma team in emergency departments. They are using their detailed knowledge of facial anatomy to correctly diagnose injuries using tools like digital radiography or CT scans.
Soft Tissues Injuries
A maxillofacial surgeon effectively treats a wide variety of soft tissue injuries, ensuring to minimize scarring and handle aesthetic considerations. This treatment includes suturing open wounds and considering the vital structures such as facial nerves, salivary glands, and ducts that could be complicating the injury.
Just like an orthopedic surgeon fixes fractures in the rest of the body, a maxillofacial surgeon manages facial fractures. The difference lies in the unique considerations of facial bones – the goal is to restore the aesthetic and functional aspects of the facial structures. Techniques used include wiring, plates and screws, and occasionally external fixation devices.
Injuries to Special Regions
Most maxillofacial surgeons coordinate with a team of medical specialists to address injuries to areas. These may include the patient’s eyes, facial nerves, or salivary glands, taking extra care to ensure these critical regions are not negatively impacted.
Post-Trauma Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
Once initial injuries have healed, patients may require further surgery to improve both function and appearance. Maxillofacial surgeons work with patients over the long term to plan and implement reconstruction (such as bone grafts or prostheses) and guide rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, speech, and swallowing therapy, and ongoing mental health Dr Mark Austin support.