Pediatric plastic surgery treats craniofacial (skull and face) disorders in children. While the term "plastic surgery" is often interpreted as purely cosmetic procedures, pediatric plastic surgery involves caring for critical conditions and restoring facial function. Pediatric plastic surgery can enable children to lead thriving and healthy lives.
Conditions a pediatric plastic surgeon may treat include:
Surgical therapy includes invasive operations such as skull reconstruction, in which certain sections of the skull are removed or replaced. Skull and facial surgery may use tiny screws, wires, or plates to fortify existing bone and shelter the brain. Minimally invasive craniofacial procedures are performed with the help of an endoscopy, and can be conducted in children as young as three months old. Endoscopy involves a small camera inserted into the body, used to assist in making minor incisions to remove tumors or alter skull structures. Cleft lip and cleft palates are treated by repositioning the outer lip or inner mouth. Several incisions are made, and skin is aligned and stitched together for minimal scarring.
Some malformations may require multiple surgeries throughout childhood. Pediatric plastic surgeons might collaborate with a variety of other physicians and specialists to craft a comprehensive care plan.