The challenge of adjusting to a missing part of the face or body since birth or removed as a result of trauma or surgery can be emotionally debilitating. People are remarkably resilient and adapt amazingly well to treatment for facial and body differences, but it is recognized that this resilience relates not just to surgical or prosthetic treatment. The social and emotional side of treatment is just as important, and should not be neglected. Addressing the needs of the individual in adjusting to a facial or body difference can greatly assist in the recovery process.
It is important to seek emotional and moral support from family members, friends, support groups as well as professional help from psychologists, social workers, and other trained health care professionals. Since it is well understood that issues of loss, depression, anxiety, social phobia, and self-concept are a part of the overall problem, psychologists and social workers are often included on rehabilitation teams. They provide support for affected people in their relationships with their family, friends, and members of the health care team. They also help with the practical problems of navigating through the sometimes complicated health care system. This kind of help has a strong effect on the overall success of the surgical or prosthetic treatments.
The IAA has compiled the following listing of Support Network Groups, Informational Resources, and Recommended Reading that should be helpful for patients and their families.
Patient Support Network Groups
These are networks of individuals with common experiences and concerns for one another. Patient Support Network Groups tend to provide practical information to individuals and their families. Please contact the following groups for more information.
There are plenty of resources on the web for individuals seeking information on cancer, burn-related injury, and aging. The following is a list of some:
There are several journal articles and books that may be of interest to our patients. The following is a list of some: