Cosmetic & Reconstructive Pediatrics Surgeons

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If your child is born with a disfiguring condition or has an injury that leaves permanent damage, your doctor will help you determine the best treatment available. In some cases, reconstructive surgery may be the best option for restoring the mobility, functionality and appearance to the part of your child’s body affected by his or her condition or injury.

The timing of your child’s surgery and the number of surgeries necessary will depend on your child’s condition. Options may include surgery within the first year of life, delaying surgery or treatment over a series of surgeries.
Cleft Lip and Palate

To repair a cleft lip, the plastic surgeon uses a special technique to suture the two sides of the lip together, leaving a scar that blends into the lip. To repair a cleft palate, the plastic surgeon uses tissue from either side of the mouth to fill in the gap, rebuilding the palate.

Surgery is generally done within the first 12 months after birth. Our reconstructive surgeons can often repair the lip or palate with one surgery, though in some cases, two may be required.

 

Ear Surgeries

Reconstructing the ear to make it a normal size will likely require three surgeries over a period of time. In some cases, a child may need an artificial or prosthetic ear, which also requires several surgeries.

Repairing the ear can take anywhere from two to four surgeries. The reconstructive surgeon may recommend using the child’s ribs to reconstruct the ear or may decide that an alloplast — synthetic material — would be best.

Jaw Surgeries

For a child born with a small jaw or receding chin, a reconstructive surgeon can correct the condition through several kinds of surgery. Most commonly, the reconstructive surgeon will cut the jawbone, a procedure known as an osteotomy, to reposition it using titanium screws and plates, eliminating the need to wire the teeth together.

Another technique, distraction osteogenesis, splits the jawbone and then moves the jawbone slowly by inserting a screw either inside the mouth or outside and turning it periodically over a few weeks. The advantage of the distraction technique is that it simultaneously increases bone length and the volume of the soft tissue around the bones.

The plastic surgeon may also create a new jawbone structure using bone grafts from the ribs, hips or skull, or alloplastic grafts, which are created from synthetic materials.