Facial trauma fixation
What is Facial trauma fixation?
Following injury or infection, early management of problems is essential to allow the skin, muscle and underlying bone to heal well. Fractures must be fixed within an appropriate window period and whilst the bone fragments are still fresh, whilst soft tissue injuries are best treated early to prevent complications and poor scarring.
What are the non-surgical and surgical options available?
Occasionally surgery can be avoided with careful planning and close follow up. Fractures of the jaw can occasionally be treated with orthodontic appliances and adequate protection. More commonly, a surgical procedure is necessary to access the fracture and put it back into an acceptable position to aid healing. Soft tissue injuries can be treated with dressings where there has been a small amount of tissue loss, or the wound edges meet nicely but are more commonly repaired under local or general anaesthetic. Poor scarring following injury may need revision at a later date.
How long do the results last for?
Once healed, the scar maturation process continues for over a year. Once a definitive scar has matured, the results are for life.
What are the risks?
Risks vary depending on where the injury is, whether any bones have been broken and how the fracture/break is accessed and repaired. Any fracture can unite badly or can move if it is not protected. Any scar can become problematic, especially if healing is complicated or prolonged. Hypertrophic or keloid scars are more common in certain skin types, whilst infection and bleeding are risks of any surgery. Scars can become tender where previously they were not and there is always the small risk of making things worse or not meeting expectations.
What are the success rates?
Normally, by fixing the fracture in place, after approximately six weeks the bone is strong enough to withstand normal activity. Scars can be improved upon significantly, especially if initial healing was problematic. It is important to manipulate the scar as much as possible in the first year, so that the best possible result is achieved.
How much does the surgery cost?
The indicative prices below include the surgical fee, any anaesthetic used and the associated fees from the consultant administering this, in addition to the hospital fee and all tests and follow up. An accurate breakdown and a detailed quote will be given following the initial consultation.
From £800 for soft tissue repair under local anaesthetic
From £7,500 for facial fracture fixation under general anaesthetic
What general advice is there?
Facial swelling can be present for many months after the surgery. Sleeping upright for the first few nights helps reduce the severity of onset swelling and speeds up recovery. Scar swelling and lumpiness can be present for many months after the surgery. Massaging with moisturiser as part of a daily routine plus the use of a silicone preparation and UV protection for the first year, helps maximise the cosmetic result.
Facts for Facial trauma fixation
- Surgery duration: 1-4 hours
- Type of anaesthesia: Local or general anaesthetic
- Time in hospital: 0-1 night
- Time off work: 1-2 days
- Recovery time: 2-6 weeks
- First follow up appointment: 1 week
- Total number of follow up appointments: 2
- Pain management: Simple pain relief (paracetamol and/or ibuprofen)
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