Recent years have seen the use of pioneering and innovative techniques to reconstruct the face after injury, trauma and cancer. Facial reconstruction is surgery that rebuilds any part of the face, including bones and soft tissue. Injury, trauma and cancer are most often the cause for needing facial reconstruction surgery. Using techniques employed in cosmetic surgery, like fat and skin grafting and bone and soft tissue transplantation, missing or disfigured parts of the face can often be replaced with tissue and bone from nearby areas of the body.
Reconstruction surgery needs to take into account what the normal facial appearance would have been and this has been greatly assisted by recent advances in technology. By using 3-dimensional images obtained by computer tomography and by utilising 3-dimensional "printers" it is now possible to create custom-made plastic models of the face that can assist surgeons to visualise a “normal” appearance.
Consultant Maxillofacial/Head & Neck Reconstructive Surgeon, Mr Nick Kalavrezos explains:
“The starting point for reconstructive surgery to the face is to take into account what a normal appearance would have been. Nowadays this task is greatly assisted by imaging and printing technology.”