Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons’ Skills Meet Needs of Complex Cases
Jim Goetz was 10 minutes from his Ontario, Wayne County home, when a pick-up truck turned abruptly in front of his motorcycle, forcing him to hit the passenger side of the vehicle at 40 mph. The 48-year-old was flown to Strong Memorial Hospital within 35 minutes of the accident, where his treatment in the trauma center was followed by three months at Strong and multiple surgeries.
Nearly every bone in Goetz’s face was broken, separating the face from the skull base and fracturing the bones around his eyes, nose, and upper and lower jaws. He suffered multiple facial lacerations, nearly severing his lower lip, lost one of his front teeth and damaged many others. He also suffered a broken ankle and internal injuries.
While URMC orthopaedic and general surgery experts cared for Goetz’s lower extremity and internal injuries, oral and maxillofacial surgeons treated his complex facial injuries.
Lee Pollan, D.M.D., M.S., chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Joseph ‘Jay’ Fantuzzo, D.D.S., M.D., director of the Oral and Maxillofacial residency program, are board-certified surgeons who care for a wide range of conditions in adults and children. They are skilled in complex procedures such as orthongathic surgery for jaw deformities and obstructive sleep apnea, as well as reconstructive surgery to address hard- and soft-tissue injuries of the face and upper or lower jaw, resulting from trauma, tumor surgery, or missing teeth and long-term denture wear.
In Goetz’s case, Fantuzzo performed a tracheotomy for access to the airway and to allow for proper repair of his pan facial fractures. He used a combination of intraoral and extra oral incisions to access the facial fractures and allow for reduction and plate fixation. Goetz’s facial lacerations were repaired and his jaw was wired shut. Grafts were done in the area of deficient bone in the upper jaw in preparation for a subsequent implant of a lost upper incisor.
“Dr. Fantuzzo did a phenomenal job,” said Goetz, praising the surgeon’s skill, performance attitude and demeanor. “He is the greatest, most compassionate doctor I have ever met,” added Goetz’s wife Tammy.
In addition to treating complex patients, URMC’s oral and maxillofacial surgeons are skilled in performing more common procedures, such as removing wisdom teeth, placing dental implants including hard- and soft-tissue grafting, and sinus augmentation to reconstruct deficient bone and soft tissue and replace missing teeth.
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