Facial Reconstruction

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Facial Reconstruction Surgery in Salt Lake City, UT

Facial reconstructive surgery (FRS), or facial trauma reconstruction, restores the appearance and function of the face, head, and neck after a traumatic injury. Facial trauma refers to an injury to the structure and function of the skin, organs, bones, nerves, glands, and blood vessels of the face and neck.  Fractures and lacerations that require reconstructive surgery can be incurred in motor vehicle collisions, violence, athletic pursuits, animal attacks, or other emergency situations.   

In most emergency cases, patients who suffer facial trauma receive treatment shortly after the incident at a facility that is close at the time – likely a hospital with a trauma team. 

After life-threatening injuries are addressed or ruled out, victims of facial trauma may have fractures of the facial bones, tissue loss, disfigurement, and injuries that threaten their vision, hearing, chewing ability, or other normal functions. Some with a history of trauma may have scars or other concerns regarding their appearance as a result of the trauma.  In cases such as these, it is the job of highly trained surgeons specializing in facial reconstruction to correct these damages and restore the function and appearance of the facial structures. 

Dr. Derrick Gale is highly experienced in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Combined with his fellowship training in airway reconstruction, and his extensive training in facial reconstructive surgery for trauma, post-cancer reconstruction, surgical management of facial deformities, and facial cosmetic surgery., Dr. Gale and the team at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center of Utah are capable of taking on even the most complex and challenging cases of facial reconstruction. 

Gale Facial Reconstruction Utah

Recovering from a traumatizing incident is a difficult process. What may help to ease your recovery is taking solace in the knowledge that there are surgeons, such as Dr. Gale, capable of restoring your appearance and normal functions. 

This page will provide you with a thorough review of reconstructive surgery for facial trauma in Salt Lake City and Riverton, Utah. If you or a loved one require facial reconstructive surgery, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 801-506-6344  or contact us to schedule a consultation

Meet Dr. Derrick Gale, MD

Customized Consultations, Individualized Results

With a focus on improving both form and function, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Gale applies experienced aesthetic judgment and surgical expertise to achieve each patient’s individual cosmetic and functional goals. While delivering the highest level of care and expertise, Dr. Gale and his team maintain a down-to-earth and comfortable atmosphere to put you at ease. 

What is Facial Reconstructive Surgery (FRS)?

Facial reconstructive surgery is the process of correcting compromised structure and function of the skin, bones, dental occlusion, and soft tissues of the face, head, and neck. Depending on the severity of the injury, different procedures are combined to address the trauma. Health professionals use two main classifications to assess trauma:

Traumatic facial lacerations of the skin can result in scarring, nerve damage, loss of body parts (ear, lip, or nose), and damage to saliva and tear ducts. These injuries are treated with microsurgery and fine stitching.  

Traumatic facial fractures often involve the brow, eye socket, cheekbones, or the jawbone and require the use of plate-and-screw fixation devices to realign the bone segments and stabilize the facial structure to allow proper healing. 

What are the Benefits of Facial Reconstructive Surgery?

Injuries that are incurred in a traumatic incident such as a motor vehicle crash, violence, sporting accident, work incident, or any other type of accident can be life-altering. Aside from the obvious aesthetic reasons for repairing damage to the face, the functional healing of facial structures can ensure patients continue to live a full life after their incident. 


The psychological repercussions of such life events may be something patients must address for the rest of their lives. Although facial reconstructive procedures can drastically improve the aesthetics and function of a traumatized face, patients must bear in mind that complete restoration cannot be guaranteed and depends entirely upon the nature of the injuries. 

Fortunately, physical scars and functional damage incurred in such events can often be addressed with facial reconstructive surgery.

Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained, facial reconstructive surgery may significantly enhance a patient’s quality of life after a traumatic accident. Nerve damage, scarring, loss of body part, breathing issues, and jaw movement problems can all be addressed by highly-skilled reconstructive surgeons. 

Who is a Suitable Candidate for Facial Reconstructive Surgery Salt Lake City?

Any individual who has sustained an injury to their face and upper neck during an incident can consider facial reconstructive surgery.

Improving Form & Function

Trust Dr. Derrick Gale to help you achieve your goals, whether they are aesthetic, reconstructive or both. View our before and after gallery to see the surgical skill and technical mastery of one of Utah’s leading facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons.  

What does Facial Reconstructive Surgery Involve?

The exact procedure for each facial reconstruction differs significantly, but some common factors between surgeries include:

  • All procedures are performed under general anesthesia though some smaller improvements can be made in the office such as in some cases of scar revision or traumatic tattooing.
  • A variety of surgical techniques will be used to rearrange facial tissue, bones, blood vessels, nerves, muscle and connective tissue.
  • Tissue may be taken from other donor sites of your body to provide the best results for your face and upper neck .

Depending on the severity of injuries, surgery may be performed by a single doctor or a team of specialists. The operation may be done in one surgery or may require multiple visits. Duration of the surgery can vary greatly, too. There is no way for us to say what your surgery will be like without knowing the severity of your injuries and your circumstances. Dr. Derrick Gale and the highly specialized multidisciplinary team of surgeons he works with will bring an unparalleled level of expertise and strive to give patients the best possible outcomes.

Contact us on 801-506-6344  to discuss your situation, and learn how we can help you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before your reconstructive plastic surgery, you should organize your schedule and plan for someone to help you afterwards so that your recovery is as stress-free as possible.

Arrange help, prepare appropriate meals, fill out prescriptions, get time off work – you will need rest.  The  more you facilitate with good preparation, the smoother the recovery will be. 

It is also important to arrange transportation to and from the surgery and to have someone with you the night following the procedure. 

Complications may arise, depending on the initial injuries. Risks may include but are not limited to;

  • Allergies to medical material
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Persistent pain
  • Change in skin sensation, color, swelling

Just as with the procedure, recovery from FRS depends entirely upon the severity of your injuries. Without knowing your particular circumstances, there is no way for us to give you an accurate answer to this question. 

Gauze or bandages may be applied to your incisions after surgery. It is also possible that a thin tube will be placed under your skin to drain excess fluid while you heal.  

Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gale has a strict follow-up schedule to check how his patients are healing; the day after, one week, one month, three months, six months, then one year after the surgery. Revision surgery is uncommon. However, if at any time you or he feels that you’re not healing as you should, the two of you may discuss the possibility of a revision surgery to ensure the best possible results. 

Facial Reconstruction Surgery in Riverton UT and Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Derrick Gale and his highly specialized team of reconstructive, oculoplastic, skull base, head and neck, and microvascular surgeons at Gale Facial Plastics and The Ear Nose and Throat Center of Utah offer you some of the best chances to restore the aesthetics and function of your face after trauma. To discuss your particular circumstances, please call 801-506-6344 or fill out or visit our online contact page to arrange a consultation. We wish you all the best.