Pediatric Plastic Surgery
Pediatric plastic surgery is a sub-specialty dealing with congenital and acquired deformities in children. Our surgeons specializing in this field are trained to surgically correct the deformity and to manage ongoing treatment to ensure successful development and function. Our team of surgeons, comprehensive care specialists, pediatricians, pediatric dermatologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, speech therapists, and social workers work with the families from before birth through adult years.
Cleft Lip and Palate
Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth defects. The deformity is frequently identified on ultrasound studies done during the latter months of pregnancy. Although cleft lip/palate can be associated with other congenital defects, it is most commonly an isolated finding. Treatment involves a multi-specialty team to care for all aspects of the deformity from initial surgery as an infant through final facial growth in the late teenage years. In general, your plastic surgeon is the first contact from the specialty team and oversees the majority of the surgical treatment.
A cleft lip is a gap in the upper lip that results from failure of the outer part of the lip to join with the central lip. It can affect one or both sides and does affect the shape of the nose as well as the gum line. Surgical repair of a cleft lip is normally completed before 3 months of age. When necessary, special tape devices may be used prior to surgery to align the cleft lip segments.
A cleft palate (roof of the mouth) may or may not be associated with a cleft lip. The palate is composed of a hard portion and the soft muscular portion at the back. Repair of the palate is normally completed between 9 to 12 months of age. The goal of the surgery is to close the hole in the palate and provide normal palatal muscle function for speech production.
Defects in skull growth are normally apparent at birth or during the first 6 months of life. A problem with the growth centers of the skull produces an abnormal skull shape and may affect facial growth. Sometimes developmental skull abnormalities are associated with other birth anomalies and are referred to as a syndromic craniosynostosis. Evaluation and treatment are coordinated by the pediatric plastic surgeon and the pediatric neurosurgeon. Surgical correction of the skull is normally performed before age one year. Additional surgical procedures may be necessary later in life.
Congenital nevi are pigmented skin lesions present at birth. The size of the lesion ranges from small (can be removed in one operation) through large (“giant congenital nevus”) that requires multiple operations for removal. Evaluation and treatment is coordinated with your pediatrician and pediatric dermatologist. Surgical treatment can be started as early as several months of age or delayed in some cases to the later childhood years.
Vascular anomalies can be apparent at birth or develop within a few weeks of birth. These anomalies require careful evaluation and treatment when indicated. Certain lesions are associated with other birth defects and/or can affect development and growth. Any surgical intervention is coordinated with other specialists when needed including our interventional radiologist, pediatric anesthesiologists, and pediatric neurosurgeon.