Reconstructive Surgery

Patient

Q: I was mugged in January 2010, the mugger hit me in the face and I had a blow-out fracture. The surgeon on my case cut under my eye to fix the blow-out and sewed my eyelid down and thereby took away the aesthetic, or symmetry, of my eyes. Also my cheekbone was gone. I had some money left from Victim's Compensation so I went back and he gave me a cheekbone. He didn't fix the eyelid but he didn't tell me until after the surgery that he was a oral surgeon and didn't feel comfortable with my eyelid correction. The cheekbone is clearly too prominent as well. I went to a second surgeon with no more Victim's Compensation and he tried to lift the eyelid. It was much better but still sagging. As time has passed, I have noticed my mouth is even crooked and was not before the mugging, possible from the skin being pulled up on the right side. I don't know what to do and have been struggling for years. I've tried many mental health approaches to acceptance but at some point my deformity comes back to haunt me. It doesn't help that I'm an actor and have completely lost confidence to go back in front of the camera. I am also too poor to even afford another consult. What can I do? Are there programs for people with no money? I have looked everywhere and no options appear realistically available. Thank you for your time.

Doctor

A:   I am truly sorry to hear about your misfortune and your difficult recovery. It is unfortunate what happened to you and I can imagine your frustration.

In the absence of a picture, it is difficult to fully understand the nature of the deformity. It sounds as though you had a cheek implant and an ectropion with an attempted correction. I am sorry that you did not have a good experience nor result following your operations. If you do have insurance, you can seek the counsel of a craniofacial plastic surgeon who can assess your cheek bone and eyelid and better delineate the problem. If you do not have insurance, you may consider approaching a county hospital associated with a university residency program near you. As this was all due to a previous trauma, it is considered reconstructive surgery rather than cosmetic.

I wish you good luck in finding a place for a second opinion.

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