Head and Neck Reconstruction
Reconstruction of the head and neck is an integral part of plastic surgery. Dr. Neil J. Zemmel at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery provides these services to the greater Richmond community. Patients usually seek head and neck reconstruction for a number of reasons, the most common being for trauma or for cancer.
Each patient may have individual circumstances, and our surgeon will provide you with the highest level of patient care. Often our patients require the following treatments:
Our surgeon will repair both minor and major lacerations throughout the entire body. Typically, however, the head and neck area is most common. Immediate repair of lacerations typically occurs in the emergency room or in the office setting. Dr. Zemmel will provide the highest quality plastic surgical closure of the wounds. This usually entails cleansing the wound, removing any devitalized tissue, potentially reorienting the scar to a more favorable position, and closing the wound using gentle, meticulous technique. Our surgeon will use suture material that is the least reactive and will likely produce the best scar possible.
Patients experiencing motor vehicle accidents, falls, or other severe blunt trauma to the head and neck may suffer from fractures of the facial bones or jaw. Sometimes the injury is an isolated fracture of a bone without injury to the other vital structures of the head and neck, while other times the injuries are more extensive and require multiple physicians to treat the injuries. The common fractures addressed by our surgeon are:
- Fractures of the nose
- Fractures of the orbit (eye socket)
- Fractures of the mandible
Reconstruction of the head and neck for cancer is a vast and complex topic, and Dr. Zemmel will discuss all of your options for your reconstruction during your initial consultation. Reconstruction of the head and neck depends on a number of important factors, each of which will be discussed in detail. Factors that affect your treatment are the type of cancer, its location and severity, your overall health status, and whether or not you will receive chemotherapy and/or radiation. The options for reconstruction of head and neck defects are:
- Primary closure of the wounds: This means closure of the wounds directly by bringing the edges of the skin and underlying tissue together with sutures. This is the simplest and least invasive technique.
- Local tissue rearrangement with skin flaps: This refers to the technique of making small skin incisions and rotating small skin flaps together in order to close the defect.
- Skin grafts: This entails harvesting skin from one part of the body and transferring it to the defects in order to provide closure.
- Distant tissue transfer with skin and muscle flaps: This technique refers to the transplant of skin, fatty tissue, and possible muscle from a remote part of the body to close the defects. This technique is used to close large defects that require composite tissue, or a block of tissue consisting of multiple different tissues.
- Microvascular reconstruction: This technique utilizes an operating microscope to transplant tissue from a distant donor site to the site of the cancer defect.
Dr. Zemmel will perform a complete history and physical during your initial consultation. He will also review your entire range of options and together you will select an option that is right for you.
Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
For more information about head and neck reconstruction, or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Zemmel, please contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery today.