Trauma-inflicted injuries can be trivial or grievous in nature. Injuries to the face and limbs require a thorough medical check-up Apart from the treating a trauma surgeon, it is essential to get the injuries checked by a plastic surgeon. Lacerations can occur across all age groups.
Types of Trauma:
- Accidental, homicidal, or suicidal
- Causes of trauma:
- Road traffic accidents
- Assaults causing Blunt or penetrating injuries
- Burns by different sources
- Domestic or workplace injuries
- Human and animal bites
When is a Plastic Surgeon needed in trauma??
The answer is in almost all cases. Plastic surgeon is required to treat the following:
- Hand injuries
- Facial soft tissue injuries
- Facial fractures
- Degloving Injuries: Extensive injuries to limbs or trunk where there is soft tissue loss
- Complete severing of limbs or digits.
In medical terms, lacerations or cuts are tears in the soft tissue or skin and do require immediate medical attention if they occur near sensitive areas such as the eyes, ears, nose, lips, forehead, and the mouth and if the bleeding has not stopped after 10 minutes.
It is important to consult a plastic surgeon for such injuries for proper treatment. Improper treatment of these lacerations can lead to grime in the wound leading to a permanent tattoo in the wound area and can scar sensitive areas of the face
Treatment of lacerations on the face requires a plastic surgeon‘s expertise to suture the wound so as to get a cosmetically acceptable scar as the final outcome. Similarly, treating dog bites on lips requires a suitable restoration in order to maintain a pleasant facial appearance and functionality which again requires the acumen of a plastic surgeon.
Children right from the toddler stage to growing adults are more likely to experience laceration and related injuries on account of falls, sports slipups, and related injuries
Emphasis on approaching a plastic surgeon for lacerations repair
- Proper debridement of dead tissue and foreign bodies
- Complex wound that requires specialized repair of vessels, nerves, etc.
- Reduced risk of infection
- Minimal scarring
Plastic surgery to treat grievous facial injuries
Plastic surgery is the preferred treatment in case of damage or injury leading to soft tissue loss in the cheek, forehead, nose, lips, etc. The repair of facial wounds and injuries should be initiated early to get a satisfactory repair. If a facial nerve is injured, it needs to be identified and repaired.
Plastic surgery to treat facial fractures
Facial fractures affect the soft tissue as well as the bones of the face, which include the zygoma, mandible, maxilla, and orbit. Facial fractures of the jaw, orbital structure, and cheekbone can affect the contour of the face and hence, best resolved through plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery to treat facial fractures includes proper diagnosis and evaluation of the damage. As per requirement, the plastic surgeon will use implants-- -plates and screws to align the bones in position and restore the appearance of the face.
Plastic surgery for facial nerve injuries
Facial nerve denervation affects the facial functionality and psychology of the patients. The patient’s facial expression, smile, eye movement, communication, and oral capabilities are likely to be compromised. There are wide-ranging modalities and options, the final approach is best decided by the treating plastic surgeon. When the patient presents immediately, nerve repair is the best option and gives the best results.
Plastic surgery to treat grievous injuries to limbs
There are several instances of grievous injuries to limbs that cause traumatic complete or near-complete amputations which can be prevented if presented to an expert plastic surgeon. Without wasting time, after the initial assessment to rule out other life-threatening injuries.
A plastic Surgeon attempts a replantation surgery – wherein the severed limb is fixed back and its circulation is restored. The attempt to undertake extremity trauma reconstruction includes focusing on restoring the normal shape and form by bony fixations, improving function, seek soft-tissue coverage through the free flap and local tissue rearrangements.
Plastic surgery for soft tissue losses
In case of soft tissue losses wherein tissue losses lead to impairment and immobility, various plastic surgical techniques are employed to cover these defects and ensure the preservation of critical anatomic structures to improve the function and appearance of the affected part.
Plastic surgery for degloving soft tissue injuries
Degloving soft tissue injuries occur on account of the application of shearing force to the soft tissues during a high-impact trauma. The affected area shows avulsion of native tissues, revascularization, and the creation of debilitating wounds. Each degloving injury is unique in terms of location, presence of other injuries, the extent of tissue loss, and mechanism of injury.
Plastic surgery for degloving injuries focuses on
- Early and accurate diagnosis
- Excision of devitalized tissues
- Skeletal fixation
- Reconstruction and restoration of functionality
The role of a plastic surgeon is an important one as it encompasses repair of the wound along with limb replantation, reconstruction, and grafting to ensure restoration and functionality of the limb.