It is clear that form and function go hand in hand when considering reconstruction of the face, head and neck regions. The old adage of “a nose that doesn’t look good doesn’t work well” certainly applies to much more than rhinoplasty. Cancer, trauma and congenital disorders can all cause alterations or destruction of various parts of the face, skin, maxillofacial skeleton or mouth. These patients suffer not only from alterations in their ability to breathe, chew and swallow but also from significant changes in appearance.
Society often, unfortunately, makes initial judgments about people based on their appearance. This can lead to social withdrawal and undue embarrassment. The ideal method of reconstruction should be tailored to your needs and be formulated as a plan between you and your surgeon. Dr. DeFatta aims to perform reconstruction as soon after the loss of appearance or function as possible. In the case of cancer surgery, this is often performed on the day of cancer removal. Sometimes microvascular surgery may be required, especially in advanced cancers or severe traumas. Here, the tissue is harvested (bone, muscle and/or skin) from one part of the body and transplanted to the face and neck to restore form, and ideally, function. The transplanted tissue is connected to small blood vessels in the neck under the microscope so that it becomes living tissue with its own blood supply immediately. Many other options in reconstruction exist. These range from relatively simple outpatient procedures to complex multistage reconstructions.
Dr. DeFatta will often harvest any necessary donor grafts from other parts of your body if this is necessary for facial or neck reconstruction.
It is important to allow us the opportunity to examine you in detail and formulate an appropriate treatment plan based on your disease, other medical conditions, and your aesthetic and functional goals. Realistic goals are set and we do our very best to achieve these goals for you. Whether it is repair of cleft lip and palate deformities, tissue transplantation (microvascular surgery), secondary or revision rhinoplasty, trauma reconstruction or restoration after cancer removal, we will provide you information that will assist you in making an appropriately informed decision. Dr. DeFatta has published a number of articles and given numerous lectures on the topic of facial reconstruction and continues to strive to improve the techniques and outcomes in difficult reconstructions. We look forward to having the opportunity to help you through this process of restoration… close to home.