How to prepare for facial trauma surgery

Correct treatment of facial trauma is very important in facilitating recovery and avoiding post-traumatic deformity.

Facial trauma surgery is performed in order to minimse the functional or aesthetic (cosmetic) defects in the future and reduce the risk of requiring further surgery. Your surgeon may recommend a procedure in order to repair broken bones, soft tissues, or both. If you have been in an accident and have been referred for surgery, your surgeon will let you know if your injuries should be treated as soon as possible, or if you need time to “settle” or heal before your injuries can be surgically repaired. Usually, bone repairs are required within 10 to 14 days, and as such it is vital to attend for consultation early.

Read on to find out how to adequately prepare for your procedure, and  what to expect from the process…

Prepare for your procedure

The prospect of undergoing surgery may feel daunting and it is completely normal to feel some nervousness about your upcoming treatment. There are, however, a few things you can do to prepare so that you feel more informed and confident about your procedure.

First, it is important that you understand what procedure your surgeon will be performing, along with any potential risks that are associated with the surgery. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will address any questions that you have, and this is a good time to raise any concerns that are on your mind.

It is also important that you tell your surgeon about any medications that you take or any health conditions with which you have been diagnosed — these factors may affect your surgery and/or the instructions that your surgeon gives you.

In preparing for the day of your surgery, you need to arrange someone to drive you home from the hospital after your procedure is complete. You won’t be able to drive yourself your home because of the effects of the anaesthetic used during your surgery. Usually, however, facial trauma patients stay in hospital for at least one night.

You should consider ways in which you can prepare your home for your recovery — make sure that you have a comfortable space to rest; chat to your surgeon about what you will need to clean your surgical incisions as you heal, and stock your fridge with food so that you don’t have to go shopping; Some facial trauma requires a non-chew diet for at least 6 weeks post-operatively. Nutrition advice is usually provided by the surgeon and by the hospital team. A dietician review can also be arranged.

Know what to expect

Before you undergo surgery, your surgeon will give you very specific instructions about when to stop eating and drinking. Your surgeon will also let you know if you should stop taking any medications on the day of your procedure. Be sure to adhere to these instructions.

On the day of surgery, you can be expected to take off all of your jewellery and piercings, as well as your contact lenses if you wear them. You should not wear any make-up or nail polish before going for surgery.

Be ready for follow-up care

After your surgery is complete, you will need to attend some follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can check that your recovery is on track. Skin stitches may need to be removed. Make sure that you don’t miss these appointments as they are a very important part of the recovery process.

These appointments are also a great opportunity to speak to your surgeon about any concerns that you have, and to ask questions regarding your expected results and/or any side-effects that you experience.

How can we help?

At OMFS, we understand that the treatment of facial trauma is very important when it comes to facilitating an effective and smooth recovery from injury. Our surgical team is highly experienced in treating and managing facial fractures and trauma, no matter how complex the case may be. The team are often involved in the facial trauma management of our AFL, ALFW, rugby other sporting teams, and in major trauma patients in our Victorian hospital trauma units, including the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Some of the facial trauma procedures that we perform at OMFS include treatments for broken cheekbones, eye sockets and jaws. If you would like to find out more about these procedures and what they involve, please have a look here.

Our team includes seven highly experienced surgeons, all of whom perform the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Each surgeon has their own special interest in certain conditions and procedures. To find out more about our specialists and their special interests and expertise, please have a look here.

To arrange an appointment, please get in touch here or give us a call on (03) 9347 3788.