Auto accidents and facial surgery

Recovering from an auto accident can be a traumatic experience in a person’s life, particularly if they’ve suffered structural damage to their face.

Facial trauma is not just painful; it can lead to low self-esteem or even depression.

What is the first step in considering facial reconstructive surgery?

The first step in considering reconstructive surgery is to schedule a consultation with a maxillofacial surgeon. Without the input from a surgical professional, it’s virtually impossible for a patient to guess what is or isn’t feasible.

During the first meeting, you will describe your surgical goals and undergo several diagnostic tests. X-rays and CT scans will typically be taken in order to examine damage under the surface. Using these images, the surgeon can form a preliminary plan.

A surgeon may make treatment recommendations that differ slightly from the patient’s goals, explaining why alternative strategies may make sense.

Why do they say reconstructive surgery is more of an art form than a science?

Unlike many operations that have relatively defined right and wrong ways of doing things, reconstructive surgery carries a great many unknowns.

Along with requiring the vision to map out a viable plan, reconstructive procedures require a high level of surgical skill. With a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal, a maxillofacial surgeon must piece together the right combination of removing tissues, reconnecting blood vessels and nerves, grafting bones and installing plates, screws and wires. Modifications and adjustments will often need to be made during the operation.

Is facial surgery covered by insurance?

The primary indicator for insurance coverage is whether the procedure is considered cosmetic or reconstructive. Reconstructive surgery is generally covered by insurance while cosmetic surgery is not. In the event of an auto accident, the procedure may be covered by your or the at-fault party’s auto policy.

Will the results look natural?

Successful reconstructive surgery begins with setting realistic expectations. The goal of undergoing surgery should be to make a major improvement to the look of your face–not perfect restoration back to your pre-accident state.