Doctor Who Operated On Nick Diaz Explains Procedure » MMA General » General MMA Talk » Doctor Who Operated On Nick Diaz Explains Procedure
6/18/08 7:38:25AM
Let Them Fight

I first met Nick Diaz as a guest in my home. He and mutual friend were there to watch a televised UFC event. This was shortly after his [Nick’s] bout against K.J. Noons. Nick was obviously disgusted with the outcome, and unlike his TV persona had very few words on the matter. The fight was stopped due to the severity of the lacerations that Diaz sustained over his eyes during that fight. This was not the first time that this problem (cutting) has plagued Nick or other fighters.

Having seen the fight, I offered Nick a possible solution to his problem. A solution that would give him the best opportunity to finish fights without stoppage from cuts. He seemed very interested…this got his attention! I explained that as a reconstructive plastic surgeon, I have solid experience in treating facial trauma and complex wounds. Being an avid boxing and MMA fan, I had conceptualized a technique from several reconstructive facial that could be adapted for this purpose.

I began by explaining why I believed this was happening to him and other fighters. The mechanism is simple, the superior orbital rim, or bony ridge above the eye socket, acts as a sharp edge.(Figure 1A) A blow to the eye, usually straight punch or upper- cut, generates tremendous force against the skin over this bony ridge. The result is what is often referred to as a “blast type” laceration or cut. This occurs when these forces exceed the bursting-strength of the skin.

Every fighter’s skull is unique, and as a result, some fighters seem to be more prone to this type of injury than others.?"Nick Diaz is one of these fighters. What makes matters worse is the inadequate care that many of these fighters receive as treatment of these cuts. Skin is a multi-layered structure that should be closed (stitched) in several separate layers when injured. Most on-site fight doctors or emergency room physicians will close facial lacerations in one simple layer with a nylon suture that is then removed in 7-10 days.

Single layer closure does not adequately address the dermis which is the deeper strength layer of the skin. The result is what is referred to as an unstable scar. These scars spread, appear wide and are often discolored. This skin is attenuated or thin.

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