Surgery Following a Dog Bite

Surgery Following a Dog Bite

A dog bite is a serious injury and, occasionally, it might even require surgery. Following a bite from any animal, particularly a dog, it is important to seek medical care as quickly as possible. Some of the important parts of treating a dog bite include washing out the wound thoroughly, stopping any bleeding, administering antibiotics to prevent an infection from developing, and assessing the need for surgery.

There are several reasons why someone might require a surgical procedure following a dog bite. Sometimes, important tissue underneath the surface of the skin might have been punctured by the dog bite. In other cases, the location of the dog bite might require the attention of a plastic surgeon who specializes in bite wound repairs. Regardless, there are a few important points to keep in mind when someone requires a trip to the operating room following an attack from a dog.

Surgery Might be Needed for Debridement and Repair

Debridement and repair are two of the main reasons why someone might require the attention of a surgeon following a dog bite. Debridement is the term used to describe the removal of dead tissue. Following a bite attack, some of the tissue might be damaged to the point that it cannot be repaired. The tissue might be dead, infected, shredded, scarred, or otherwise not salvageable. In this case, the doctor will remove the dead tissue to allow the rest of the wound to heal without obstruction.

In addition, a surgeon might need to repair damaged structures. The teeth of the dog might have damaged tendons, ligaments, muscle fibers, and even bones that need to be repaired. The jaw of a dog is incredibly powerful and can break small bones in the hand, wrist, and foot. These bone fractures need to be set and immobilized so they can heal properly. Sometimes, multiple surgeons might be needed to repair various injuries.

The Attention of a Plastic Surgeon

In some situations, an individual might even require the attention of a plastic surgeon. There are certain areas of the body where the aesthetic appearance is incredibly important. Some of the common locations where a bite attack might require plastic surgery include the face, genitals, ears, eyes, and mouth. These are locations where appearance is extremely important, and damage to these areas can lead to psychological turmoil.

Scars following a dog bite attack are a major point of concern. A plastic surgeon who specializes in bite wounds might be able to minimize the appearance of a scar. Depending on the size of the wound, this might require skin grafts or flap reconstruction. This procedure is often performed quickly after the incident to ensure any scar formation that takes place is limited.

Risks and Recovery

Whenever surgery is required following a dog bite, the surgeon will weigh the risks versus the benefits. Some of the risks of surgery include blood loss, infection, and a possible reaction to the anesthesia. At the same time, a trained surgeon will take precautionary measures to limit these risks. The doctor will answer any questions and explain all risks to the patient and relevant family members before any procedure is carried out. In most cases, these surgical procedures proceed without any complications.

Once the surgical procedures have been completed, the patient will need to have regular follow-up visits with the doctor to make sure he or she is recovering as planned. It might take some time; however, even bite wounds that look incredibly severe can heal up nicely with the attention of a trained surgeon.

Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer. Surgery may be required to repair a serious dog bite. If someone you know has suffered a major dog bite due to the negligence of another person or entity, please reach out to me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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