Clinical Paper Trauma| Volume 52, ISSUE 3, P334-342, March 2023

Self-inflicted craniomaxillofacial gunshot wounds: management, reconstruction, and outcomes


      Suicide by firearm remains one of the leading causes of violence-related injury death in the United States each year. The mortality rate from these injuries is high, resulting in a paucity of outcome data in the literature regarding injuries to the maxillofacial region. This has largely been attributed to a lack of funding for research in this area compared to other leading causes of mortality in the United States. The aim of this study was to detail the authors’ experience and approach to complex maxillofacial reconstruction using both local reconstructive methods and microvascular free tissue transfer. A retrospective cohort study was designed, including patients who sustained self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the maxillofacial region between January 1, 2012 and May 1, 2020. Forty-one patients met the inclusion criteria. The majority of the patients were male (87.8%). Mean patient age was 44.2 ± 16.6 years. Alcohol or drugs, and a psychiatric history were present in a majority of the cases. The most involved anatomical region was the midface (75.6% of cases). Seven patients required free tissue transfer for reconstruction, with many needing multiple flaps. Self-inflicted gunshot wounds represent challenging reconstruction scenarios, often in the setting of severe psychological trauma, and require a multidisciplinary team to ensure the optimal outcome.


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