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Extensive surgical repair after a dog bites a child's face

You may worry about the high costs of plastic surgery if a dog has bitten your child's face, but the psychological cost to your child may be much higher if the issue is not addressed. At Cooney Law Offices P.S., in Washington, we often provide legal advice to parents who want to hold the negligent dog owner liable for the expenses, both initially, and over time as further treatment is necessary.

The Plastic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center explains that one of the reasons children tend to suffer such serious bites to the face is that the dog latches onto the tissue of the jaw, and as the child attempts to get away, the tissues tear or rip. A doctor must typically preserve as much facial tissue as possible and perform careful reconstruction to restore the structure of the face.

After your child's initial surgery to repair the damage, you may have to schedule secondary surgeries in the months and years following the attack. These procedures may include the following:

  • Fat grafting to place fat tissue in areas that have sunken and restore smoothness
  • Skin grafting to transfer skin from one area to another
  • Cartilage grafting, generally from the ear or rib to the nose, for reconstruction
  • Thinning the areas where skin has thickened
  • Removing scar tissue

You may also want your child to undergo laser treatments to smooth scars, reduce redness and improve overall appearance. 

Often, plastic surgery specialists are willing to provide expert testimony in court if you must sue the owner of the dog or his or her insurance company for the costs of your child's full recovery. More information about dog bite injuries is available on our webpage.

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