HEAD AND NECK REGION
Both trauma and cancer involving the head and neck region is not uncommon. Simple soft tissue trauma with no tissue loss is easily repaired by a plastic surgeon with aesthetic principles in mind. Managing soft tissue defects requires expertise to preserve, and restore function and aesthetics. Tissues of the face may need to be rearranged. The options that are available to be used are usually dependent on the extent of the loss. Trauma to the bone is generally results in fractures. Any minor displacement can be managed without surgery. But any complete breaks in the jaw requires fixation by screws and plates. This is best practice in order for the patient to resume a normal diet as early as possible and reestablish normal mouth opening and dental occlusion. Bone loss can be restored by the techniques of bone grafting which can be free or vascularized.
Cancer in the head and neck region occurs on the skin, deep soft tissues, viscera, bone and the upper digestive and respiratory tract. For most of these tumours the mainstay of treatment is surgical excision. Commonly this process results in the removal of functional and/or aesthetic anatomic parts of the body. These defects need to be replaced. The smaller defects can be replaced with local tissues. Larger ones will require the use of tissue from distant anatomic areas. The blood supply of these composite tissue once transferred is reconstituted by the connection of the blood vessels of the flap to blood vessels in the neck. The gold standard is to use tissue from areas of the body that will not result in any significant morbidity at the donor site. Most parts of the face and the aerodigestive tract can be reconstructed with a view to maintaining the basic and very necessary functions.