Why Recovery Times For Facial Reconstruction Can Vary Greatly

Facial reconstructive surgeries are incredibly complex and challenging, but they can also make a huge difference in your appearance and self-confidence. After an accident or injury leaves you with permanent scarring, you have many options for seeking reconstruction. You may be concerned about recovery since some of these surgeries can get quite involved. Yet if you search online, you may find conflicting information on how long you can expect to be in recovery after the treatment. Find out why it's not so easy to look up a specific timeframe for recovery from facial reconstructive surgery.

Chance of Complications

Since facial reconstructive surgeries tend to involve very delicate tissue with limited blood flow in some cases, there is a high chance of complications with many procedures. Even with careful surgical protocols and the use of postoperative antibiotics, there's always a chance of infection or reaction to the medications used during recovery. Almost all complications can be treated with follow-up procedures, but you may experience an extension in your recovery time because of these secondary treatments. It's important not to rush any recovery steps recommended by your surgeon because it could increase the chances of complications like blood clots, infections, and bone graft rejection.

Variations in Procedures

Facial reconstruction is an umbrella term referring to dozens of different surgeries and procedures that doctors have at their disposal for helping patients after an accident or surgery. Since each facial reconstruction involves unique conditions and challenges, there's no single way to approach it. Someone who only needs a single skin graft after a skin cancer surgery may experience a far shorter recovery time than another patient who needs multiple bone grafts and tissue transfers. Not all facial reconstruction can be completed in a single procedure either, potentially creating multiple recovery periods to plan around. Try to get a list of your procedures in writing, along with the various recovery periods recommended by your doctor, to visualize your entire recovery process.

Pre-existing Conditions

Many patients needing facial reconstruction are also struggling with other conditions either related to their reconstructive needs or just impactful to surgical recovery. Diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions can reduce blood flow in a way that also extends the time it takes to heal from any surgery. Discuss your general health with your doctor and any conditions specific to your reconstruction plans to understand how you may experience recovery differently from other patients. The medical team handling your surgeries may adjust their approach to decrease the likelihood of complications as well.