Bermant Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
Bermant dog bite questions and answers bulletin board

Dogbites and Reconstructive Surgery Discussion and Forum for Patient's Questions and Answers

Explore what others have to say about dog bites, canine caused lacerations, scars and reconstructive surgery.

Michael Bermant, MD - Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

This is the page where you can review questions and stories from patients, view the opinions of lay persons, and see answers from Dr. Bermant and other physicians. Do you want to ask a question, post an answer, or make a comment? Information E-mailed to me will be considered for posting.

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Dogbites and Reconstruction

Dog Bites

My name is R... , My wife was bitten by a german shepperd in oct 5. The damage was appox 1to 11/4 inch of the center of the upper lip to the very bottom of the nose. S had to have a graft from her arm to her upper lip. the muscle tissue was there ,but that was all. She is on her third surgery and most of the damage has been repaired (considering) the damage . IT seems to look like a cleftlip repair since the cupids bow is gone. Most of the work was done buy removing all of the damaged tissue and using the inner part of the lip(flap) and making the repair. My Question is How many things can still be done ? I have heard of sanding or fine repairs of the scar tissue. Is that what she has to ask about? We never realized that there are so many procedures. The Doctor we are using is Dr. ... from Springfield ,Il.

Thank you
R/Taylorville, IL

Dr. Bermant Responds:

You are correct, there are many possibilities in reconstructive surgery. I wish I was good enough to make an evaluation and recommendation on treatment from reading an Email message. The truth however is that a doctor needs to see, feel and watch a scar move. Sometimes there are no further options, reconstructive surgery can only offer so much. That is why I put up my Dog Bite Prevention Page on the web.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dogbite

Dear Dr, My name is H. 17 mths ago, I was attacked by two cattles dogs. the attack was very vicious, the result was, as you can see in my pic. I am believed to have not only suffered the lacerations and mental terror, but I have sensory nerve damage to the lower leg, and has exascerbated a spinal injury. My question is, I dont know anything of the sensory nerve situation, do they mend??? Please, thankyou for your interesting site.

thankyou, yours faithfully H
Bathurst Australia

Dr. Bermant Responds:

No pictures came with your message.

Nerve regeneration depends on many factors


degree of injury to the nerve
type of repair if done
where the injury is in the body (level of injury)
age of the patient
patient's ability to heal

Some nerve injuries are so small that they come back very quickly. This is like hitting the "funny bone" at the elbow. Other nerve injuries are so severe that recovery is not possible. You pose good questions for your treating physicians more aware of your condition.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dog Bites

do you have any information about the tendency of retired racing greyhounds that are adopted by families to bite? i am considering adopting one and would appreciate any information that is available.
thank you

d

Dr. Bermant Responds:

No idea.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dog Bite , my grandchild, age 3, bite my the family dog.

dear doctor, i would like to know about a facial wound, my grandchild family dog bite the left side of the childs face. i look at him, and wanted to cry, it broke my heart, the dr. did plastic surgery , what type of scars will this child have for life, both mental & physical . what really was upsetting the dr. after surgery came out and said, told the parents that he has just perform 10,000 dollars worth of surgery. no concern for the well being of the 3 year old or the parents.
thank you , a concern grandparent

Dr. Bermant Responds:

Dog bites can be very hard emotionally on the patient, the family, AND the people who take care of them. Unfortunately your doctor is the best one to describe the extent of potential scarring. The body heals by making a scar. We as plastic surgeons try to help the healing to limit the disfiguring aspect of the scars. I cannot support the statement about the cost during the initial after surgery discussion and wonder if the doctor doing the plastic surgery was a board certified Plastic Surgeon (by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) or someone else. If not, then you might need someone else who has examined the patient to advise you about the scars. I try to design my initial reconstruction to limit the need for scar revisions. After my repairs I need to wait usually around 4 - 6 months to see if a well healing wound would need revisions. During the healing I try to influence the wound to minimize scars. This advice depends on an examination and evaluation.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dogbites

Greetings Dr. Bermant:

Your web site is very interesting. Would you happen to have any color brochures or photos of children with dog bite injuries? I am currently trying to get something done about a dog roaming freely barking and being aggressive. As you know most people are reluctant to get involved. If I could show them what may happen I might be able to get some support. I know the danger because my brother was a dog bit victim in his youth. If there is anything you can send me I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks.

Please send to:

K
Friendswood, TX

Thanks again.

Dr. Bermant Responds:

The brochure we have is designed to minimize dog injuries and not inflame the dog loving public and does not show graphic injuries these bites can create. That is why I also put the information onto my website. The website can be accessed by all and the graphical pages ignored or viewed. These images on the website however may not be downloaded nor reprinted. The text of the brochure is also viewable on the site. The plain brochures are available from my office, send a self addressed envelope with US postage for first class mail to receive a free brochure. Larger quantities are available.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dogbite Nose

Dear Dr. Bermant:

I received a dog bite to the tip of my nose which resulted in a small piece of flesh being completely removed from my nose. The tissue removed is approximately 50% the size of a dime and extends into the Dermis, thus not simply a superficial loss. Before the small piece was sewn back in place, the wound looked like your basic bad gash with uneven edges. I also received Antibiotics and a Tetanus shot as well.

My question lies in what the best possible result could be as far as what the injury will look like after treatment. If the sewn chunk of skin "takes" and heals I'm sure I will have some sort of scar. If the repair dies (Necrosis) and the chunk must be removed and the wound left to heal on it's own I'll definitely need some plastic repair as the depth of the wound cannot be made up by simple healing.

There was no structural damage to the underlying cartilage and I am a healthy white 32 yr. old male with a medium skin tone. What are your suggestions as to what type of graft might be best and what type of scarring I can expect to have to work towards repairing, depending of course on whether or not the piece of tissue sewn back in place is successful or not. This info will better prepare me for my upcoming discussions with health professionals.
Thank you for your time and any advice or suggestions.

Sincerely,
B

(I know, I know - what kind of a bonehead gets the tip of his nose
bitten off by a dog. Bad Luck. But I want my nose to look good again!)

Dr. Bermant Responds:

You are not alone, I have had treat quite a few nasal tissue losses from dog bites. I just did another one this Monday where the tip defect was larger than a dime and down to the cartilage.

Sometime in partial defects, healing with wound care alone produces a nice scar. In other defects, surgery is a better option. Secondary scar revision are sometimes another option. Each wound and defect needs to be individually examined and evaluated for treatment recommendations. I prefer to see such problems shortly after the injury so the best course of treatment can be started.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dog Bites

Dr. Bermant,
Thanks so much for you quick response. I've been sitting here searching the net. I've been going through the archives at the CDC and attempting to download some of the articles they have listed in Pediatrics. For some reason they become unreable. I'll trot over to Harvard Med School library this weekend and pull them.
I'd been searching since I wanted the most up to date facts I could find. I will gladly list your web site in my article. I shall be submitting it for publication to Dog Fancy, Dog World and Dog and Kennel magazines.
Thanks again.
C

Dr. Bermant Responds:

Go to the greatful med or pubmed sites on the NLM site. That is serious medical searching engines doctors use. But the abstracts will be filled with medical jargon. If you have difficulty understanding any, please let me know.

Michael Bermant, MD

Dog Bites-medical costs associated with.

I am director of a large animal control dept and a veterinarian involved in bite investigation for the health department. In taking action to deal with dangerous dogs we have considered requiring ins.,bonds,etc.to help victims recoup costs/damage from dog owners. The commission has asked us about the associated costs of the treatment from bites ; as you and I know I could probably get a master's degree if I had time to do the study that would give a local cost- lacking the time and given my deadline to report back ,I am in search of any data available nationally. I have found a study that gives the "clean and flush" costs in ER's =$274. This leaves out suturing ,treating infections, hospitilazation and the followup costs of plastic surgery. Do you have any info regarding these costs or any typical costs per procedure that would be helpful? I have national cost estimates for all bites but the commission was asking an average or range for the individual treatments. Thanks for any info and like your info on line-KDM

Dr. Bermant Responds:

An animal bite can need many different types of treatment depending on severity. A scratch or minimal puncture wound may only need the services of the emergency room doctor and would be covered under the global fee for evaluation. More significant injuries may require a simple, layer, complex, graft or flap reconstruction. Some defects require multiple complex multi-hour reconstructive operations in the operating room. Each repair has different prices according to size and location on the body. Such prices can range from several hundred dollars to many tens of thousands of dollars. Complications of dog bites can increase the cost when infection requires multiple additional debridements or secondary procedures. There is a sad trend for more to be taken on by untrained doctors doing more complex injuries than for which they are trained. The increased cost of the complications or those seeking secondary revisions needs to be taken into account. HMO's and insurance companies also pressure unrealistic pricing so far below reasonable fees that many of my colleagues are withdrawing because of unconsciously low reimbursement. Some of these companies have refused to cover the cost of secondary revisions on horribly disfigured scars considering such repairs "cosmetic" in nature and not covered by that plan. I do not know how long the American public will put up with the deteriorating system. So the cost to the patient depends on many factors. Real costs can be so perverted by who is organizing the numbers that there are no real way of coming up with a realistic answer.

I hope this information proves of value.

Michael Bermant, MD
Board Certified
American Board of Plastic Surgery

Dr. Bermant's dog bite prevention bulletin board plastic surgery

Dogbite Prevention

Dog bites of Lip and Reconstruction Photographs (graphic)

Dog bite Injury Face Repair / Reconstruction Photos (graphic)

Camel Bite Reconstruction

Find books about dog bite prevention from Barnes and Noble

Bite Injuries Reconstructive Surgery bulletin boards, forum, experiences, and chat.

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Bermant Dog bite plastic surgery repair reconstruction and prevention

See just how terrible dog bite injuries can be and how reconstruction can restore the deformity. Warning some of these injuries are graphic.

Bermant Plastic Cosmetic Hand and Reconstructive Surgery
PlasticWeb

Humane Society of the US Dog bite prevention

Bibliography of Articles on Dog Bites and Community Approach Dog Bite prevention - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Dog Attack - WorldWide Legal Info Assoc

Dog Bite Alternatives - Decrease dog bite injuries through education.

Dog Bite Links - Dr. P's

Dog bite prevention in the spotlight - American Veterinary medical Association

Dog Bite Prevention - Dog Scouts of America

Dog Bite Study - Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program

Dog Bites various articles - Meisterfeld, Ph.D.

Doggone Crazy - Dog Bite Prevention Board Game. Learn about dog behavior and communication.

ER Dog Bite Information from Australia

Fatal Dog Attacks Sacks, MD

Family Paws Dog Bite Prevention

HSUS - Resources for Dog Bite Prevention

It's summer time, and the dogs are biting - CNN

Kids and Dogs: A Common Sense Approach Understanding dog bites: how they occur and how how to prevent them

Peterson Law Offices, PC What To Do After a Dog Bite

Texas 1996 Severe Attack Surveillance Summary

Why Dogs Bite A Guideline for Children - Denver Dumb Friends League

Law

Dog Bite Law - Attorney Kenneth Phillips

Law and Dogs - About.com

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 92

 


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This page last updated on: March 27, 2013

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