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Facial dog bites in children may require repeated plastic surgery
Date:4/22/2013

es), with no significant risk of infection. Some bites required skin grafting or other reconstructive surgery. One child developed an infection and one was left with permanent injury to the facial nerve.

High Rate of 'Scar Revision' Surgery

In more than three-fourths of cases, the child underwent additional "scar revision" surgery in an attempt to improve the aesthetic results. About one-fourth of patients needed a second or even third revision surgery.

More than one-third of cases involved legal action, either against the dog's owner or insurance companies. Because of the high litigation rate and possible denial of insurance claims for reconstructive procedures, Drs Eppley and Schleich advise surgeons to keep meticulous records, including photographs, of dog bite cases.

Dog bites are a common in children, with many of these injuries involving the head and neck. The new study highlights the characteristics of facial dog bites in children, including the young age of the patients and the fact that most bites are "provoked." The researchers strongly suggest that young children be kept away from "high-risk" breeds.

"Even with favorable results from scar revisions, the patient and family may still regard the scars as a permanent disfigurement," Drs. Eppley and Schleich write. They suggest that plastic and craniofacial surgeons treating dog bite injuries in children should advise parents about the possible need for further surgery for scar revision, and provide counseling to "align expectations with expected surgical outcomes."


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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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