Facial Reconstruction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I need advice for facial reconstruction. I had surgery consisting of a left partial maxillectomy to remove a muco-epidermoid carcinoma. (intermediate grade).

Since then, my face have partially distorted as per current picture. Could you please suggest what type of procedure is good for me , to have a better natural handsome look. Could you please recommend the best option and how the procedures are carry out.

A: Thank your for your inquiry regarding facial reconstruction and sending your pictures. The key question is whether you have undergone any radiation treatments to your face after your cancer resection??

Your face is collapsed inward on that side due to lack of underlying bone support from the maxillectomy. Replacing that bone and rebuilding that side of your face would require a complex form of reconstruction known as a free flap as there is inadequate soft tissue to cover any bony reconstruction. This would be particularly necessary if you have had radiation treatments.

A simpler and less complex form of reconstruction would be to focus on building up the soft tissues through fat injections. This can be done whether you have had radiation treatments or not.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana