The Royal United Hospital (RUH) is relocating and developing the hospital’s Facial Surgery & Orthodontics department to a create a new improved Outpatient Department site. The building work will commence in early 2018, which will enable the current services to be relocated and fully operational in a new facility by late 2018.

The new Facial Surgery & Orthodontics will cost £2.7m and it will be an approximate 85/15% partnership between the National Health Service (NHS) and charitable funding sources. The RUH has asked The Forever Friends Appeal (the main charity for the hospital), to raise £400k towards this total for various pieces of equipment to ensure that this outstanding opportunity for patients at the RUH becomes a reality.

The relocation of the new department will help pave the way for our pioneering new Cancer Centre, which is due for completion in 2021.  Although the new facilities will not be  located within the new oncology building, the service will compliment our plans for the new Cancer Centre.

The new department will improve care for patients at District General Hospital (DGH) level. It aims to balance the RUH’s exceptional clinical care with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment– producing a world-class facility focused on patient care, experience and wellbeing, thereby reducing stress and anxiety and promoting improved clinical outcomes.

With a very mixed catchment area that covers Bath, North East Somerset (BANES), Wiltshire, Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the RUH cares for 5,600 new patients who visit the Facial Surgery & Orthodontics department each year.

Everyday approximately 50 patients visit the current department at the RUH. The current facilities are based in old 1940s buildings that by definition are outdated and do not support patient recovery from the numerous injuries and diseases seen by our medical staff.

The new department will be in a state-of-the-art facility which will take a holistic approach to medical care. The new environment, facilities and equipment will enhance our excellent clinical care and treatment by providing a therapeutic approach to the hospital setting. The Centre will work in alignment with our pioneering, new Cancer Centre and its innovative Wellbeing, Information and Support Hub (WISH) to deliver the best care possible to our patients, their families and staff.

Charitable funds will afford specialist Facial Surgery & Orthodontics equipment, above and beyond what the NHS can provide, to deliver a specialist and exceptional Centre for our patients.

What will happen inside the new centre?

Facial Surgery & Orthodontics is often seen as the ‘bridge between medicine and dentistry’. The new department will provide a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for conditions of the head and neck, including cancer, in a new purpose designed environment. These services include the diagnosis and treatment of  patients with diseases and injuries affecting the mouth, jaw, face and neck.

The RUH’s scope of Facial Surgery & Orthodontics is extensive and includes the diagnosis and management of facial injuries, head and neck cancers, salivary gland diseases, facial disproportion, facial pain, impacted teeth, orthopaedics, orthodontics, cysts and tumours of the jaws as well as numerous problems affecting the oral mucosa such as mouth ulcers and infections.

A range of surgical operations are carried out as RUH outpatients under local anaesthesia. These include: removal of impacted teeth, intra-oral and facial soft tissue procedures. More major operations, for example those for salivary gland disease, trauma, facial deformity or cancer, are carried out on an inpatient basis under general anaesthetic.

Orthodontic and Orthognathic Surgery are ongoing.

Due to the nature of the work, Facial Surgery & Orthodontics surgeons often work alongside a variety of specialists in other fields such as Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons, clinical oncologists, plastic surgeons, orthodontists, restorative dentists, radiologists and neurosurgeons.

The new Centre will be conveniently located for operational efficiency to provide the following surgeries to our patients:

  • Surgical treatment of head and neck cancers – the removal of the tumours and subsequent reconstruction, including microvascular free tissue transfer and complex facial skin tumours
  • Oral & Maxillofacial surgery – surgery of the teeth (including implants), jaws, temporomandibular joints, salivary glands and facial skin lesions.
  • Orthodontic treatment – is a way of straightening or moving the teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It also help to look after the long term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth.
  • Oral Medicine – diagnosis and management of medical conditions presenting in and around the cervico-facial structures.
  • Facial injuries/reconstructive surgery – management of complex craniofacial fractures and soft tissue injuries of the mouth, face, and neck.
  • Head and neck cancer – access to tumours within the depths of the complex craniofacial anatomy, and ablation of tumours, including neck dissections.
  • Orthognathic surgeryfor the correction of facial disproportion. The surgery is performed by an Oral Surgery Consultant in collaboration with an Orthodontist.
  • Management of  benign and malignant lesions of the salivary glands.
  • Temporomandibular joint surgerya condition affecting the ‘chewing’ muscles and the joints between the lower jaw and the base of the skull.