Plastic Surgery Expertise Helps Young ATV Accident Victim
Tracy Sweetin took one look at her 8-year-old son, Parker, after his ATV accident, and her mind began to race. Would he ever look the same? Where could they find an expert in severe facial injuries?
Parker had driven his four wheeler into a barbed-wire fence, causing five deep cuts around his eyes. Since he was moving on impact, the lacerations were not clean and straight. They zig-zagged over his eyelids, around his forehead and between his brows.
Tracy and her husband, Rodney, immediately took their son for medical treatment. “We decided to go to nearby Good Samaritan [Regional Medical Center] to check that he didn’t have other internal injuries. But I didn’t know if we’d have to drive to St. Louis for the expertise to have his cuts sutured,” recalls Tracy. “We knew his face was really messed up and didn’t want it to affect him for life.”
Within five minutes of entering Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center’s Emergency department, Parker was seen by an emergency physician, who confirmed with CT scans that Parker had no internal trauma. The emergency department quickly called Steven Clark, M.D., D.M.D., a plastic surgeon with St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Medical Group who also has specialty training in maxillo-facial trauma. Tracy was surprised this level of care was an option.
Dr. Clark began serving patients at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in October 2013, bringing with him training and experience from large East Coast medical facilities. He’s one of the few physicians in the nation who is a doctor of dental medicine, has residency training in maxillofacial surgery, and is board certified in plastic surgery.
“Because of this dual training, I not only have expertise in the soft tissues of the face, but also the bony structures, including how the teeth and jaw come together,” explains Dr. Clark. “This can be especially helpful to patients who have experienced dog bites and other facial trauma.”
In addition to facial reconstruction, Dr. Clark also provides a host of other plastic surgery services, including breast reconstruction, removal and reconstruction of skin cancer, skin removal surgery following bariatric surgery and/or massive weight loss, and a wide range of cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body.
Tracy was amazed at how Parker looked after being treated by Dr. Clark. In fact, she felt compelled to post the dramatic before and after photographs on Facebook so others could see his results. “It’s important for people to know that we have access to this expertise close to home,” says Tracy. “I was so thankful and relieved to have a plastic surgeon right there for us. Injuries are traumatic enough. It’s nice to know that complete treatment is available without leaving the area.” To learn more about Dr. Clark, visit smgsi.com.