As part of the trauma team at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, Dr Slabbert has seen many patients come into the ER with severe facial injuries. He is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with extensive experience in surgical facial reconstruction. His skills include rebuilding damaged facial contours and also repairing nerve and muscle function of the face.
Facial trauma reconstruction involves surgical restoration of facial wounds and lacerations which are frequently sustained in sports, motor car accidents, industrial incidents, violence and animal bites.
The purpose of facial reconstructive surgery is to improve functionality of the affected area as well as the quality of life of the patient. However, the severity of certain injuries means it is not always possible to get back to your original likeness. But, there is hope because improvements can be made with successive reconstructive surgeries.
There are different procedures which are successfully used when there are complicated injuries which affect many parts of the face, head and neck. These can apply muscle and skin transplants, skin flaps and microsurgery to restore nerve and blood vessels.
Apart from accidents which require immediate medical intervention, there are other patients who may desire this type of surgery. Their facial features may have been affected by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, infections, tumours or diseases.
If you are one of these patients your first step is to schedule a personal consultation with Dr Slabbert. He will carefully examine your face and discuss your goals and expectations. He will then explain what is the realistic outcome. This is a very important discussion to ensure that both you and he are on the same page and aiming in the right direction. You will discover he treats his patients with compassion, with a caring and unhurried approach.
Your past and current state of health and previous surgeries will be evaluated and details given regarding any medication you are taking and whether you smoke. Full disclosure is vital. Dr Slabbert will then map out which techniques and treatment plan is best suited to your individual needs.
Dr Slabbert performs various facial reconstructive surgeries, including:
The extent of your surgery will determine whether you will have a day procedure of if you’ll need to spend a night in hospital. Either way, it is important to have someone fetch you and drive you home after the surgery.
After your procedure, Dr Slabbert and his nursing team will make sure that you are comfortable, and will give you comprehensive advice on how to take care of your wound. Pain medication may be prescribed. You will have regular follow up consultations for Dr Slabbert to monitor the healing process, and to address any concerns you may have.
Recovery time from a facial reconstructive procedure depends on the extent of the surgery. This will be explored in more detail before your procedure.
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