Revolutionary Lip Reconstruction Procedures Offer New Hope for Accident Victims


Team Udayavani, Jun 18, 2024, 12:16 PM IST

Facial injuries, particularly those involving the lips, are not rare occurrences. In a bustling city like Bengaluru, with heavy traffic, facial injuries due to road accidents are a common problem. These injuries often leave lasting scars that extend beyond the skin and can profoundly affect victims both physically and psychologically. It is paramount to treat these injuries with timely intervention and meticulous care to prevent any permanent damage and restore the aesthetics and functions of the facial structures, thereby improving the overall quality of life for these patients.

A renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Rahul Shetty, Consultant – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Manipal Hospital Doddaballapur, pioneers advanced lip reconstruction procedures, offering new hope to accident victims. These advanced procedures, in addition to restoring physical appearance, play a crucial role in healing the emotional trauma associated with disfigurement. Dr. Shetty shares some valuable insights, highlighting the transformative power of modern reconstructive surgery, particularly emphasizing lip reconstruction.

Emphasizing the importance of timely and thorough cleaning of wounds as the initial crucial steps of the reconstructive procedure, Dr. Shetty said, “Patients usually arrive at the hospital after initial first aid at nearby medical centers. Early referral to a specialized plastic surgeon is crucial. If they come early, it is very good because we can start the reconstruction process immediately.” The procedure involves meticulous cleaning, followed by precise reconstruction of anatomical structures. “Thorough cleaning under anesthesia to remove dirt and grime is a critical step to prevent permanent skin tattoos and infections. Areas near the eye and lip don’t heal well and can cause permanent disfigurement. Meticulous surgical reconstruction respecting anatomical landmarks is a must. The goal is to avoid permanent disfigurement and provide patients with a near-normal appearance,” says the surgeon. He shared success stories of patients who received timely and effective treatment. For instance, a 15-year-old girl recently treated for a severe lip injury showed remarkable recovery within two weeks. Post-operatively, optimal healing is ensured by antibiotics, application of appropriate ointments, and proper suture removal. He added that recovery from facial injuries is faster than injuries in other body parts due to better blood supply to the facial structure. The healing period typically spans from one to two weeks, with ongoing application of creams and lotions for up to three months.

The number of patients requiring facial reconstruction has increased over the years. On average, the surgeon treats at least 15 cases per month across two branches of Manipal Hospitals. This rise underscores the need for public awareness about both prevention and the availability of advanced medical interventions. Speaking about prevention, the surgeon mentioned a significant number of cases among young individuals, particularly those under 25 years, who are more prone to accidents due to frequent use of two-wheelers. He advocated for strict adherence to traffic rules and the use of full-face helmets.

As a take-home message, Dr. Shetty said, “Facial injuries, particularly those affecting the lips, can have profound psychological impacts, especially on younger patients. Timely intervention by skilled plastic surgeons can make a significant difference. If an accident occurs, seek specialized medical attention promptly to ensure the best possible outcome.”

Dr. Rahul Shetty, Consultant – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Manipal Hospital Doddaballapur

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