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Over the period 1981-1985 the author treated 1486 patients with facial gunshot wounds sustained in combat in Afghanistan. In the last quarter of 20th century, more powerful and destructive weapons such as M-16 rifles, AK-47 and Kalashnikov submachine guns, became available and a new approach to gunshot wound debridement is required. Modern surgeons have little experience in treatment of such wounds because of rare contact with similar pathology. This article is intended to explore modern wound debridement. The management of 502 isolated soft tissue injuries is presented. Existing principles recommend the sparing of damaged tissues. The author's experience was that tissue sparing lead to a high rate of complications (47.6%). Radical primary surgical debridement (RPSD) of wounds was then adopted with radical excision of necrotic non-viable wound margins containing infection to the point of active capillary bleeding and immediate primary wound closure. After radical debridement wound infection and breakdown decreased by a factor of 10. Plastic operations with local and remote soft tissue were made on 14, 7% of the wounded. Only 0.7% patients required discharge from the army due to facial muscle paralysis and/or facial skin impregnation with particles of gunpowder from mine explosions. Gunshot face wound; modern debridement. Copyright © 2012 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Michael B Shvyrkov. Facial gunshot wound debridement: debridement of facial soft tissue gunshot wounds. Journal of cranio-maxillo-facial surgery : official publication of the European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. 2013 Jan;41(1):e8-16

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PMID: 22998924

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