Craniofacial Reconstruction is a surgical procedure to reconstruct the facial bone structure. Replacing a facial bone with microsurgery techniques is an alternative performed by professionals qualified who work with magnification techniques in order to unite arteries, veins and nerves.
Diagnosis of the need for craniofacial reconstruction depends on the cause of the abnormality, injury, or disfigurement. Some genetic disorders that are associated with congenital facial abnormalities, including Down syndrome and Treacher Collins syndrome, can be detected before birth by chromosomal analysis. In adults, the diagnosis is usually made by trauma surgeons in the emergency room or by physicians who have treated the patient for cancer.
Depending on the unions, known as anastomoses, the craniofacial reconstruction procedure can be performed with magnifying glasses or a microscope. The craniofacial reconstruction procedure can also be performed together with a Maxillofacial surgeon or a Craniomaxillofacial surgeon.
Bone transplantation might, according to the case, be associated with a transplantation of skin and muscle. The most frequent is jaw reconstruction.
The craniofacial reconstruction surgery takes several hours, especially because the craniofacial reconstruction procedure is carefully performed. The complete treatment is done in several surgeries so usually the patient requires some extended time to get full recover. On average, the patient has at least two craniofacial reconstruction surgeries, leaving final surgery to treat a few asymmetries, taking care of some corrections or just to improve final results.
Craniofacial reconstruction of congenital abnormalities requires a team of medical specialists, including plastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, neurosurgeons, dentists, ophthalmologists, and psychiatrists.
Craniofacial reconstruction following trauma is started as soon as possible once the patient's general condition is stable. Although at one time surgeons delayed the treatment of disfiguring injuries for several weeks, recent studies have found that early treatment produces better results as well as minimizing the need for a revised plastic surgery. These craniofacial reconstruction procedures can be started in a hospital emergency room or done in a specialized trauma center. Facial injuries resulting from burns or electrical trauma may be treated at special burn centers.