Reconstruction and rehabilitation of short-range, high-velocity gunshot injury to the lower face: a case report.
M H Motamedi
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War injuries can range from the most minor to the devastating and life-threatening. Multidisciplinary care is required for successful management of survivors. In the acute phase, care may involve emergency surgeons, anaesthetists, neurosurgeons, ophthalmic surgeons, vascular surgeons and ENT specialists in addition to the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Afterwards, definitive treatment of facial hard and soft tissue gunshot injuries depends ultimately on the abilities and skills of the oral and maxillofacial surgeon and his appreciation of such injuries. The timing and sequence of the surgical procedures used for reconstruction and rehabilitation of maxillofacial gunshot injuries are crucial to a successful outcome and aesthetic result. If incorrect, they may lead indefinitely to infection, graft rejection, wound dehiscence with consequent multiple revisional operations and complications which will prolong hospital stay, and increase treatment costs and morbidity in these patients. In this article, we describe the treatment protocol for reconstruction and rehabilitation of a typical case of devastating gunshot injury to the lower face and propose a staged sequence of surgical treatment based on an 8-year experience gained in treating war casualties during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988).