You love Fido and Fluffy, but what happens when your precious pet turns around and nips your face or lip? Animal bites are nothing to play around with because they can cause a lot of damage—especially when they’re on your face.
Even though your loveable four-legged friend may not have meant any harm, facial plastic surgeons often see patients come in needing reconstructive surgery for facial trauma, according to The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
In fact, more than 800,000 people have to be treated for dog bites each year. For some of these patients, both adults and kids, they turn to a plastic surgeon to correct the unsightly scars and deformities left behind.
Facial plastic surgeons have a range of options at their disposal to repair and correct the tissues and skin to help the patient look like her/himself again. According to a recent member survey by the AAFPRS, 14% of facial plastic surgeons have seen an increase in the use of lasers to minimize the appearance of scars from facial trauma. Dog bites appear to be on the rise!
“Pet bites can be severe,” says Stephen S. Park, president of the AAFPRS. “These traumatic injuries can cause significant scarring, nerve damage, tear duct injury, or even loss of the ears. In addition, they have a much higher risk of infection compared to other lacerations.” Dr. Park continues, “the social impact of a dog bite can be enormous, especially when it occurs in children. It’s critical that a board certified facial plastic surgeon is there to correct any visible injuries and lacerations to help the victim return to a normal life.”
The AAFPRS reminds patients to select a board-certified surgeon that specializes in plastic surgery of the face, head and neck. In addition, research surgeons and procedural information via trusted online sources like www.aafprs.org.