High-energy gunshot wounds to the face

Henry C. Vásconez, Mark E. Shockley, Edward A. Luce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Thirty-three patients with high-energy gunshot wounds to the face were treated at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center between 1976 and 1993. Wounds were classified according to the mass and velocity of the projectile, and the range from weapon to target. More than half the injuries involved multiple facial regions. Twenty patients underwent immediate definitive reconstructive procedures. Intervals between injury and initial nondefinitive reconstruction for the other patients ranged from 1 day to 1 month. Toward the end of the study period, reconstruction was undertaken earlier and more aggressively, and included more attention to primary bone grafting and free tissue transfer. These patients developed fewer problems with infection, long-term scarring, and contracture, and they required fewer operative procedures. There was no operative mortality and none of the patients with self-inflicted injuries reattempted suicide. We conclude that early aggressive treatment of these wounds can produce better structural, functional, and rehabilitative results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'High-energy gunshot wounds to the face'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this