Dog bites often injure some of our most vulnerable, visible areas, such as the face, neck, and hands, resulting in extensive physical and emotional scarring. Dr. Elliott H. Rose at The Aesthetic Surgery Center located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side performs plastic surgery to help patients around the globe heal from dog bite injuries. Read on for information about dog bites and how plastic surgery can restore your appearance.
Typical dog bite injuries
A range of injuries with varying severities can occur from a dog bite. These include:
Lacerations: Deep cuts can cause excessive bleeding and may require stitches.
Abrasions: Although superficial bite wounds can be treated at home, they remain at risk for infection and should be carefully observed.
Punctures: Any dog bites that pierce the skin can become infected and may require antibiotics to prevent infection.
Crushing: Bites, especially from larger dogs, can actually break or fracture bones and should be treated by a physician.
Avulsion: When your tissue and other facial features become partially or completely torn away, you can greatly benefit from reconstructive surgery.
Risks of a dog bite
When a dog bites you, infection is the biggest concern. Dog bites present a greater risk of infection than many other types of cuts, because:
- Bacteria in a dog’s mouth may infect the injury
- Irregular, jagged shaped wounds are more difficult to heal
- Deep tissue lacerations can cause fever and swelling
- There could be extensive damage to nerves, tendons, and ligaments
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, be sure to slow the bleeding, as well as clean and wrap the wound, before seeking treatment. Once you arrive at our office, we can:
- Evaluate your bite to reduce any complications to arteries, nerves, and other sensitive areas
- Take a thorough history, including your tetanus immunization status and, if known, the dog’s rabies status
- Discuss your treatment based upon your age and extent of injury
When a dog bite involves tearing of the flesh, loss of soft tissue, or other extensive damage, we provide top-notch plastic surgery to help heal your wounds inside and out.
What to expect from dog bite plastic surgery
Dr. Rose initially removes any contaminated tissue and irrigates your bite wound with an antibiotic or saline solution. He meticulously rearranges the tissues using skin grafting to restore your features.
Dr. Rose helps restore function, as well as form, through plastic surgery. If a bite occurs on your face, he can usually rectify the damage to your eyes, nose, or mouth. He also employs micro-surgical techniques for nerve or muscle grafting to return your normal facial expression. In addition, state-of-the-art Fraxel laser technology can help repair damaged skin from the inside out, utilizing your body’s own production of collagen to stimulate healthy cells and promote healing.
Finally, while there are clearly physical reasons for reconstructive dog bite surgery, healing the emotional trauma is just as critical. Through skin grafts and other techniques, Dr. Rose relieves the emotional pain of potential disfigurement by helping to restore your former appearance.
Children may require multiple surgeries
The youngest among us are also the most vulnerable to dog bites, which are unfortunately a fairly common occurrence. According to a study in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, their wounds frequently require repeated reconstructive surgeries. In fact, both children and adults may require additional plastic surgeries to heal scars for the best long-term results.
Your care is our number one priority
Voted Best Plastic Surgeon in New York City for “Corrective Facial Surgery” by his peers, Dr. Rose helps his dog bite patients look and feel normal once again. To arrange for a consultation regarding dog bite reconstruction surgery or another issue, please give us a call or book a consultation today.