An elective or facial mask, more commonly known as a plastic surgical face mask, is a specialized personal protective equipment usually worn by medical practitioners during surgical procedures. The mask has been designed with the utmost accuracy, to ensure that no airway remains open for a considerable amount of time after the plastic surgeon closes the airway. Therefore, the face mask is used in emergency treatment where breathing may be difficult following anesthetic or general anesthesia. It helps patients breathe in a comfortable and relaxed manner even when the elasticity of the face mask is compromised due to facial expression, sweating, or crying. Face masks that are custom fit to the patient’s face are also available.
The basic function of a face mask is to prevent the escape of air from the nose into the airway. The nose-bridge and ear loops are securely fastened to the face mask. The latter is made up of a pair of chin-strap clamps with adjustable straps for a superior fit. The ear loops have openings on both sides to facilitate the easy breathing of a patient who wears a face mask.
Plastic surgical masks are available in various sizes to cater to the diverse needs of patients who wear them. Most patients require a smaller face mask that covers only their nose and mouth. This is because the nasal and mouth parts are often injured or damaged during surgery and cannot be sufficiently covered by a large surgical mask. Patients who have undergone invasive dental surgery require a larger surgical mask that covers the entire head including the eyes, nose, cheeks, and the back of the head. These patients are usually induced unconscious during the procedure so as to prevent the escape of blood from the incision sites and to facilitate breathing.
A surgical mask is also useful in preventing small particle splashes of blood from entering the patient’s nose and throat. Such splash is caused by the large-particle droplets when plastic surgeries are performed. Such large-particle droplets cause allergic reactions in some patients. Therefore, surgeons place a filter inside the splashes to prevent them. A filter also ensures that the splashes do not cover the surgical site and damage the tissue.
A tight-fitting face mask also prevents the spread of facial blisters during nose, cheek, and chin surgery. Tight fitting also reduces airway resistance during intubation. This is especially important for open-head liposuction, when airway obstruction can result in a compromise of oxygenation and increased carbon dioxide levels. Similarly, if the face mask is loose-fitting, there is the tendency for air to enter the lungs through the mouth and nose at an elevated pressure. This causes discomfort, which is not necessary if the face mask is fitted tightly.
In conclusion, a surgical face mask is an important tool to combat the adverse effects of facial blushing and social distancing. As social distancing can have severe repercussions on an individual’s life, it should be taken seriously. While it may feel awkward to ask your date out in public or to put your best foot forward at work, you have to do so anyway. You don’t want to risk looking unattractive or even getting fired for it. Avoiding these uncomfortable situations helps build a confident personality and gives patients an opportunity to avoid social distancing.