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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Cosmetic surgery to treat athletic injuries

July 3, 2014, 2:47 am


What do sports and cosmetic surgery have in common? At first glance, you may think they have nothing in common, but it might surprise you to know that many athletes, professional and non-professional alike, can benefit from plastic surgery to correct flaws incurred through athletic injuries. Many athletes suffer injuries that can be treated in the Emergency Department or hospital, but immediate treatment of such injuries typically does not take into account any aesthetic considerations. Enter cosmetic surgery — there are a number of situations in which athletes may benefit from cosmetic surgery.


While there are a number of procedures that may benefit athletes who have suffered a sports-related injury, one of the most common is rhinoplasty, commonly called a nose job. Rhinoplasty for athletes is typically used to fix a broken nose and may include correcting a deviated septum sustained during the injury. Rhinoplasty is ideal for correcting a nose that has become disfigured or unaligned due to a sports injury, and in some cases, may correct airflow problems that result from the injury and have impaired normal breathing. Corrective nose surgeries are not only meant to restore the appearance of the nose, but they may also improve the ability to breath.

Oral and maxillofacial repairs and reconstruction

Many athletes also suffer other face and mouth surgeries of varying severity. Such injuries may only be stabilized in an emergency or hospital setting, requiring additional treatment and surgeries in the future. Such injuries may require oral or maxillofacial reconstruction. For example, fractured or knocked-out teeth may be replaced by dental implants, which not only function like natural teeth but also restore an aesthetically natural smile. Some athletes may also require surgical intervention to repair facial fractures or a damaged jaw.

Prevent sports injuries before they happen

Of course, the best step you can take when it come so to athletic injuries is to prevent them. While no amount of protective gear will prevent all sports injuries, wearing and using the correct equipment can certainly lower the risk of sustaining many types of injuries. Be sure that you understand the particular risks involved in playing your sport and invest in related equipment.

Wear the proper helmet, goggles or athletic glasses, face guards or shields, mouth guards, and padding. Your equipment should meet at least the minimum guidelines for your sport. Avoid substituting equipment meant for another sport for your activity. Although bicycling and skateboarding both require helmets, the activities have different injury risks and thus the helmets for each specific safety features related to the individual activity. The same is true for protective eyewear — racquetball goggles are not a substitute for basketball goggles and vice versa.

In any sport that has even the slightest potential for physical contact, wear a mouthguard, even if you don’t think you will be hit in the mouth. While an elbow to the mouth can certainly do extensive damage, including broken or knocked out teeth, it is also possible to damage your jaw and teeth without coming into contact with another player. For example, you may make a spectacular lay-up in basketball only to come down with another player in your way. Instead of landing on your feet, you trip, landing on your hands and chest and in the process perhaps you hit your chin on the floor as well causing your upper and lower jaws to crash into one another, fracturing a tooth. When in doubt, wear or use safety gear.

To learn more about the aesthetic and functional benefits of cosmetic surgery after athletic injuries, call Kansas City Surgical Arts today at (816) 286-4126 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Hlavacek and his team at Kansas City Surgical Arts will assess your injury, as well as the extent of any prior repairs or treatment such as from the Emergency Department, and will develop a course of action to help restore your features with the goal of getting you back up and playing as soon as possible.