Goleta Surgeons Have FAB Program


A “FAB” new Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery program at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital attracts patients nationally and internationally. And, as the surgeons in charge say, “How could we possibly have a better job? We get to change people’s lives.”


The FAB part relates to F (facial correction), A (airway development) and B (bite correction), according to Dr. William Arnett, a long-time Santa Barbara resident and maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Arnett has focused his work on facial reconstruction and research in the subspecialty known as orthognathic surgery. He and Dr. Michael Gunson, his partner at Arnett Gunson Facial Reconstruction, are the only two oral and maxillofacial surgeons anywhere who dedicate their practice solely to this aspect of surgery.


Drs. Arnett and Gunson both trained at UCLA and play a leading role in helping train their colleagues. The two lecture at professional meetings throughout the world, and Dr. Arnett is on the teaching staff of five universities and has published a state-of-the-art textbook on orthognathic surgery which is used throughout the world.


At present, 75 percent of Arnett and Gunson’s patients come to GVCH from outside the tri-county area, evidence of the high regard in which they are held. Jaw function and aesthetics, followed by pain, remain the motivators for this procedure which corrects the facial structure, airway and bite.


Given that Arnett and Gunson perform 150 facial reconstructions per year, they have developed leading treatment planning and surgical techniques in this field. In fact, about 30 percent of the Arnett-Gunson practice is devoted to “re-do” surgeries for patients who’ve undergone operations elsewhere.


“Just the other day,” they recalled, “a young woman from Mexico returned for a follow-up visit. The first thing she said to us was, ‘I will remember you for the rest of my life.’ It doesn’t get much better than that.”


To learn more about the benefits of oral / maxillofacial surgery, please contact Cottage’s public affairs department,
(805) 879-8980.