Trauma to the Face

Kerry P. Latham, Mark W. Bowyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The human face is comprised of numerous specialized structures that perform functions essential to quality of life. These include the senses of vision, taste and smell as well as critical functions, such as speech, chewing, and swallowing. Critical to identity by one’s self and to recognition by others, the face is a key component of social interaction. Severe facial trauma can dramatically impair quality of life due to the critical functions of the face. Although the stakes are high regarding outcomes, true surgical emergencies of the face are rare. Optimal care of facial trauma is multidisciplinary and requiring collaboration with Plastic, Oral Maxillofacial, and Ophthalmologic surgeons, and well as Otolaryngologists. Craniofacial surgeons should be included on the treatment team early. Facial fractures and facial soft-tissue injuries are commonly associated with the blunt and penetrating trauma to include, automobile collisions, falls, sports injuries, and interpersonal violence. The majority of large facial lacerations can be addressed in the first 24 h following other emergency surgical procedures. Facial fractures can wait 24 h to 2 weeks depending on the fracture, associated conditions, and other traumatic injuries. In this chapter, we discuss facial injury patterns, emergencies, management and treatment timelines for facial trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTextbook of Emergency General Surgery
Subtitle of host publicationTraumatic and Non-traumatic Surgical Emergencies
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783031225994
ISBN (Print)9783031225987
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Facial avulsion/laceration
  • Facial fracture
  • Gun shot wound
  • Multdisciplinary management


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