After being treated for cancer of the head and neck or suffering from a traumatic injury, patients may experience severe wounds and defects within these areas that can affect their appearance, functionality and overall quality of life. Defects can range in size, location and severity depending on the cause of the condition and type of initial treatment performed.
Dr. Trussler is experienced in reconstructing these and other types of head and neck defects to help patients look and feel better after recovery from cancer or injury. He takes advantage of the latest, most advanced procedures available to provide safe and effective results tailored to each patient’s individual needs.
What Are My Microvascular Surgery Options?
The type of procedure performed depends on each patient’s individual condition, and will be developed by Dr. Trussler prior to treatment. Some of the techniques he commonly utilizes include:
- Wound closure
- Skin grafts
- Local flaps
- Regional flaps
- Microvascular free flaps
For most patients, a combination of treatments will be performed during a multi-step treatment process.
Head and neck reconstruction is often a long complicated process during which Dr. Trussler may work with oncologists, dermatologists, otolaryngologists and other professionals to provide comprehensive care and ensure that patients are receiving the best possible results. It is important for patients to maintain realistic expectations and remain committed to working towards a successful outcome alongside Dr. Trussler.
Dr. Trussler will evaluate each patient’s case, including determining the extent of the defect and the amount of tissue required for correction, as well as the likelihood of restoring functionality to any affected areas of the head or neck. Dr. Trussler aims to provide the most successful aesthetic and functional results so that patients can benefit from a higher quality of life after treatment.
One of the most recent developments and now commonly used approaches to head and neck reconstruction involves the use of free flaps, which involve transplanting healthy sections of bone and tissue from another area of the body. This requires precise attachment of the arteries, veins, and nerves in the transplanted area to ensure that the area remains properly nourished after treatment. Skin and soft tissue may also be transplanted depending on the patient’s individual needs. Free flaps provide surgeons with a better ability to customize treatment for the best aesthetic and functional outcomes.
Microvascular reconstruction is performed in a hospital setting and may take several hours to perform. General anesthesia is usually required.
Head & Neck Reconstruction Recovery
After microvascular reconstruction, patients will usually need to stay in the hospital for a few days in order to be monitored by Dr. Trussler and his staff and to make sure that blood flow is properly restored to the treated area. There will likely be pain, swelling and bruising in the affected area, for which Dr. Trussler will provide patients with medication or dressing garments as needed.
Depending on the severity and location of the affected area, patients may require speech or physical therapy to begin a few days after surgery for optimal functional results.