Several approaches exist for the treatment of animal attacks targeting the head and neck region. The treatment options and timing vary depending on the animal species, the nature of the defect, and the experience of the surgeon. In this study, early surgical treatment options used in head-neck injuries caused by domesticated or wild animal attacks are presented.
We consider 12 patients who were admitted to our clinic between June 2006 and May 2010 with head-neck injuries caused by animal attacks. Tissue defect had developed in 10 patients due to half-wild dog bite and in 2 patients due to wolf bite. The ages of the patients ranged from 3 to 45 years (mean, 21.3 years). Among the patients included in the study, 4 had facial injury, 3 had ear, 3 had scalp, 1 had eye, and 2 had nose injuries. In all patients, early surgical reconstruction was performed after irrigation, antisepsis, and debridement. Concurrent rabies and tetanus prophylactic antibiotherapy program was started.
Infection or surgical complications were not observed in any of the patients. Rabies symptoms were determined in one of the quarantined dogs under surveillance. There were no positive findings in the patient bitten by the dog. The surgical treatment results from all patients were at satisfactory levels.
As a result, it is observed that, in the treatment of head and neck injuries resulting from animal bites, early acute approach has replaced the traditional long-term treatment. We believe that debridement and early surgical reconstruction used in combination with medical support and prophylactic treatment are the best treatment method.
From the *Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dicle Medical Faculty, Diyarbakır; and †Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, İstanbul Medical Faculty, İstanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey.
Received August 26, 2010.
Accepted for publication September 14, 2010.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Samet Vasfi Kuvat, MD, Seyitömer Mah. Emrullah Efendi Sok. No: 60/6 Fındıkzade 34098 Fatih, İstanbul, Turkey; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors report no conflicts of interest.