Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Michigan Health provides care for patients requiring facial reconstruction or seeking cosmetic surgery. A wide variety of facial deformities are treated resulting from cancer surgery or traumatic injuries. Our group performs more than 1,000 reconstructive surgeries per year, which translates to highly skilled physicians and proven results specific to each patient’s needs.

Facial plastic surgery is an artistic subspecialty, which requires both an artistic eye and technical skills. Function and form are equally important and are given equal weight in the reconstructive process. To combine these important concepts, our surgeons are board certified both in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

At the Center for Facial Cosmetic Surgery, we see nearly 3,000 patients yearly. In addition to treating a variety of facial deformities, we also provide a wide spectrum of rejuvenative facial surgery, including:

  • Surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation of the face – including facelift, forehead lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift surgery), deeper laser and chemical facial peels, facial fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra, and fat) and Botox.
  • Reconstruction and cosmetic surgery of the face – includes rhinoplasty (nose surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery), cleft lip and scar revision.
  • Reanimation of patients with a paralyzed face (facial nerve disorders) – includes all the procedures we use to rehabilitate a patient with facial paralysis, from physical therapy to Botox treatment to surgery. Botox helps balance out the face, for both appearance and function.

Facial Reconstruction Following Cancer Removal

The University of Michigan Health remains a leader in the treatment of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma as well as melanoma. Performed by specially trained dermatologists, this process has close to a 100% cure rate for non-melanoma skin cancers, while at the same time preserving a maximal amount of normal tissue.  For more extensive skin cancers, care is coordinated through a multidisciplinary team of Mohs (a form of skin cancer surgery) surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, oculoplastic (structures around the eye) surgeons and radiation oncologists. In fact, the University of Michigan Dermatologic Surgery group is one of the busiest in the country, making us one of the busiest reconstruction groups in the country.

Reconstructive options range from local tissue rearrangement (called “flaps"), to skin grafts, to complex transfer of skin, bone and/or cartilage to achieve optimal facial balance and symmetry. With your guidance, your surgeon will choose the optimal reconstructive option for your particular needs. The surgeon will attempt to balance the complexity of the reconstruction with your desire for the final outcome, to achieve the best possible functional and aesthetic results.

We have a seamless transition between our Dermatology Department and the reconstruction surgery team, so our patients enter into the process knowing exactly what to expect, from the repair that is required to what happens after surgery.

Facial Paralysis

Facial nerve paralysis is a condition in which the nerve that moves the muscles of facial expression no longer works properly. Facial paralysis can cause a number of problems, including:

  • Difficulty closing the eye with drying and possible vision loss
  • Nasal blockage
  • Difficulty keeping liquids in the mouth
  • A change in physical appearance
  • A change in the ability to express emotion

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty are part of the multidisciplinary Facial Nerve Clinic which includes members from Facial Plastic Surgery, Neurotology, Audiology, Occupational Therapy, and Oculoplastic Surgery to ensure we’re treating all aspects of facial paralysis.

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