A–Z of surgery

For most of the items on the long and varied list of oral and maxillofacial conditions, surgery is at least one, in some cases the only, treatment option. It is not without irony that for many potential postoperative problems more surgery is the primary treatment and/or salvage option.

In this section A-Z of surgery we will mention nonsurgical treatment options where appropriate. Similarly, sections dealing with other, nonsurgical treatments such as medication will refer back to surgical options where appropriate.

We include a chapter about anaesthesia in this section about surgery: the discipline of anaesthesia is the great enabling technique for minor and major surgery, and for intensive care. Some special anaesthesia considerations and techniques are necessary in conjunction with (major) oral and maxillofacial surgery.

You may be faced with having to make decisions about a range of treatment options. Especially in situations where you may have to consider potentially life-changing interventions and outcomes, a full and honest picture of all options is essential for making the right, informed individual decision. You will be supported through this process but it is important to truly grasp that the decision is yours – and that requires you to be well informed. This includes not only understanding the treatment processes but also having realistic expectations about time-lines and outcomes.