The domesticated dog is man's best friend, but even friendships of this magnitude experience rough patches. Every year, about 4.5 million Americans fall victim to dog bites and dog attacks. In many cases, these bites are minor and need only minimal treatment and perhaps a prescription antibiotic. Unfortunately, in some dog bite incidents, the outcome is considerably more serious.
The Worst Case Scenarios
Dog bites can and do result in fatalities. Rabies, infections, blood loss, and severe gnashing and biting can all cause death; thankfully, the actual number of dog attacks that result in death are remarkably low. In 2011, for example, dog bites resulted in merely 32 deaths--a very small number considering the millions of dog bites that occur annually.
That being said, dog bites can still be serious even if they do not have fatal consequences. Each year, about 30,000 dog bite victims are scarred so badly that they must undergo reconstructive surgery. This surgery is applied not only for lacerations resulting in tendon damage, but also for wounds resulting in prominent scarring.
Reconstructive Surgery for Dog Bite Victims
If you or your child has suffered from a dog bite, the future can look scary. No reconstructive surgery decisions should be made in the days immediately following the attack. This is because your doctor must attend to the wounds and ensure that the lacerations have not resulted in any infections. Furthermore, serious injuries will likely be swollen for a few days, so the extent of the damage is not always immediately determinable.
Once your doctor attends to the immediate wounds, then the time to consider reconstructive surgery will arise. If the injuries will result in long term aesthetic damage, only you can decide whether reconstructive surgery is right for you or your child. This is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. You might initially believe that any scarring or damage is no big deal if it is just appearance that is affected, but think again. Visible scars, especially on the face, can have a very real impact on you or your child's self-esteem and self-image. Scars and disfigurement can serve as permanent reminders of the traumatic dog attack, and also result in psychological challenges, like anxiety or depression. On the other hand, many people view scars--their own scars or those on other people--as intriguing, interesting, and even sexy.
In the days following a dog attack, you will likely feel confused and overwhelmed, and you may not know whether or not reconstructive surgery is the right choice. The extent of the scars, the trauma you or your child associate with the incident, and your own personal bias are all important factors to consider. If you are uncertain whether reconstructive surgery is a good decision, schedule a consultation appointment with a licensed surgeon like John Gatti MD who specializes in this kind of procedure. A reconstructive surgeon will have experience with patients who have experienced the same kind of injury and resulting confusion; as a result, this surgeon will have an objective approach to your situation and can help you make the right decision.Share
13 July 2015
When I first got married, I didn't think twice before swiping my credit card. Unfortunately, this attitude caused my spouse and I to get into serious financial trouble early on, especially after a medical situation. Soon, we found ourselves struggling to pay the bills, even though we both worked full-time. After a financial intervention from a few of our family members, we learned ways to save money on everything from groceries to medical equipment. Because the cost of healthcare can be staggering, we decided to create a website dedicated to helping you save money on your medical expenses. I hope that as you peruse the articles on our website, you can find a few tips to save some cash.