Pattern and Management of acquired Facial defects in Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Nigeria


  • Kingsley Opara Plastic Surgery Division, Department of Surgery, Imo State University Teaching Hospital
  • Bernard O Jiburum Plastic Surgery Division, Department of Surgery, Imo State University Teaching Hospital


Acquired facial defects, Pattern, Management, Nigeria


Background: The face combines function with important aesthetic implications. With organs and units so closely related a fine balance and symmetry must be maintained in reconstructing facial defects. Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu, has the bulk of its patients drawn from neigbouring rural communities and are mainly of a low socioeconomic group. They therefore tend to present late with relatively complicated pathologies. This article looks at the pattern, aetiology and management approach for facial defects in our centre and highlights the challenges faced in managing these patients.

Method: A review of clinical records of consecutive patients with acquired defects of the face managed at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital over a 12 month period was performed. Socio-demographic and clinical data were retrieved and analyzed.

Results: There were 31 patients (15 males and 16 females) with 33 facial defects, and a mean age of 36.2 years. The lips were most commonly involved (30%). The eyelids and eyebrows were least affected. Most defects (48%) followed excision of neoplastic tumors and 87% of these were in Albinos. Human bite was the commonest cause of lip defects. The nasal defects more often required a combination of procedures with multiple theatre sessions.

Ninety one percent (91%) of the defects were reconstructed primarily with good results.

Conclusion: Surgical excision of squamous cell cancers in albinos and human bite are the commonest causes of facial defects in our environment. In reconstructing facial defects of diverse aetiologies, adherence to laid down principles of facial reconstruction is necessary to achieve consistently acceptable results. We recommend primary repair of acquired facial defects as this gives optimal results. Correspondence:


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How to Cite

Opara, K., & Jiburum, B. O. (2015). Pattern and Management of acquired Facial defects in Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Nigeria. The Nigerian Health Journal, 11(1), 32. Retrieved from

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