In this modern, mechanical era, soft tissue injuries of the face are becoming more frequent. Physicians are daily faced with the problem of reconstructing mutilating lacerations from flying glass, avulsions from twisted steel, and abrasions filled with grease and dirt from the highway or roadbed. Such injuries demand meticulous care, for the penalty of inadequate management is visible and often grotesque deformity, with its inevitable physiological and psychological consequences. When life is threatened by the magnitude of injury the careful reconstruction of severe facial trauma can, and should, be temporarily set aside while the general physical condition is stabilized.1 Deformity is accepted as a necessary evil, with the realization that reconstruction can be done at a later date. In most instances, however, when the facial injury is of primary concern, the final result of treatment is due entirely to the surgeon's adherence to the time-tested principles of wound management.