Reconstructive Facial Surgery
Mr Juling Ong is a Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon who specialises in reconstructive facial surgery.
Reconstructive facial surgery is used to restore or improve the function and appearance of the face, which has either been affected by a congenital defect such as cleft lip and palate or a craniofacial deformity or, at a later stage in life, by trauma, infection or disease.
Mr Juling Ong is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who focuses on reconstructive surgery to the face, using different procedures and techniques to produce an often life-changing transformation. This can include skin grafts or flaps, repositioning or remodelling of the facial bones and soft tissue reconstruction or transfer. Nerve and muscle damage will also be repaired with microsurgery if possible.
Facial trauma can be the result of accidents, particularly car accidents, violence or burns. Diseases such as skin cancer can also require reconstructive facial surgery to repair any damage during treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during reconstructive facial surgery?
Mr Juling Ong will carefully plan your procedure or, in some cases, a series of operations and this will be discussed in full with you beforehand. Procedures can range from very simple to highly complex operations, most of which will be performed under a general anaesthetic.
All the potential risks and complications will have also been discussed with you, but the benefits of reconstructive facial surgery typically outweigh any possible problems. Your recovery will depend on the extent of the procedure.
What are the main techniques used in reconstructive facial surgery?
The main techniques used to repair and restore the face after trauma are the following:
Skin grafts; a healthy patch of skin is taken from one area of the body – known as the donor site – to cover the damaged or missing skin. To keep this new skin alive in its new location, blood vessels need to grow into it. A partial skin graft or split thickness skin graft takes only the surface layers of the skin and is often used to treat burns. A full thickness skin graft means taking the entire dermis and is only used for relatively small defects and the donor site needs to be closed afterwards. A composite graft takes layers of skin, fat and even cartilage to fill a small, contoured area.
Tissue expansion; in this procedure, extra skin is ‘grown’ by inserting an expander under the skin and gradually filling it with saline so the skin stretches.
Local flaps; tissue from adjacent to the wound is lifted and moved to reconstruct the defect. This is a very useful technique in the face as it results in the reconstruction of the wound with skin from the face or neck.
Free flap surgery; this entails transferring tissue and a blood vessel which is necessary to keep it alive when moved to a new area of the face or body and this means that a larger area can be transferred than by a skin graft.
What results can I expect during reconstructive facial surgery?
The main aim of surgery is to restore function to normal, but Mr Juling Ong will also try to minimise the visual impact of the trauma. It is often not possible to completely restore the patient’s pre-injury appearance and Mr Ong will try and provide you with a good understanding of what to expect from surgery.