Facial reconstruction

Specialty of Oral & maxillofacial surgery

What is facial reconstruction?

Microsurgical facial reconstruction encompasses various surgical techniques that are used to treat both congenital and acquired pathologies (disease or injury) that have led to loss of some of the structure or function of the face.

Why is it done?

Several congenital pathologies are treatable, notably different types of facial paralysis and atrophy that prevent the correct movement of the muscles and structures of the jaw and/or the eyes, and facial expression (for example, Perry-Romberg syndrome, Moebius syndrome, Binder syndrome).

What does it involve?

Facial microsurgery aims to replace the affected zones and to restore their normal appearance and function, via use of individualized techniques for transplantation of tissue, nerve and muscle grafts. Currently, facial reconstruction can be performed successfully via the use of advanced microscopic techniques for transplanting tissue from the same patient. Given the anatomy of this area, the surgery is highly complex and in some cases, it may have to be performed in several stages —separate surgical interventions—, to achieve the best outcome.

Post-operative care

Depending on the severity of the process and the particular reconstructive technique used, you may undergo surgery as an outpatient, with the sutures removed after one week at the GP’s office, or as an inpatient with a hospital stay of over 10 days.

What are the risks?

Like any other surgical procedure, there are risks inherent to anaesthesia, risks related to each technique and disease and risks related to your medical history. Complications are directly related to the severity of the pathological process, the duration of the intervention, your health status and age, and the surgeon’s experience. Furthermore, bleeding, infection and total or partial flap loss may occur. It is important to know that all these complications can be solved.

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