Leech Therapy for Complex Facial Lacerations.

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Facial trauma can pose challenging reconstructive obstacles in both maintaining tissue viability and restoring aesthetic appearance. Medicinal leech therapy can help to promote vascular decompression in the setting of venous congestion. A retrospective chart review was conducted to identify patients who underwent medicinal leech therapy following venous stasis secondary to repair of a complex facial laceration. Three patients were identified; 2 suffered auricular avulsion, while 1 suffered a lip avulsion. All patients suffered from venous congestion and underwent medicinal leech therapy for 48 to 72 hours with reduction of edema and stasis. Decompression was successfully achieved with no further sequelae on last follow-up. Medicinal leech therapy is an adequate treatment for venous congestion following traumatic soft-tissue repair of the face. The authors advocate for the utilization of medicinal leeches to combat venous congestion after repair, particularly when arterial inflow remains intact.


This article was published in Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1097/scs.0000000000007111.

Copyright © 2020 Mutaz B. Habal, MD.

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Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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