What Is Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery?
The term craniofacial refers to the head and face. A craniofacial surgeon is trained in using plastic surgery to reconstruct areas of the skull and face.
At Gillette Children’s, you’ll have access to leading craniofacial surgeons and neurosurgeons who specialize in caring for kids who have complex conditions. Whether treatment begins in infancy or early childhood, our goal is to improve your child’s physical appearance and promote self-confidence.
Conditions Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery Treats
A wide variety of conditions affect the face and skull. Craniofacial specialists or neurosurgeons perform surgery for traumatic injuries, hand deformities, complex wounds and other conditions that affect appearance and abilities.
Craniofacial and plastic surgery can benefit people who have:
- Deformational plagiocephaly.
- Cleft lip and palate and Velopharyngeal Dysfunction.
- Chronic wounds (wounds that won't heal), such as pressure wounds.
- Craniofacial anomalies associated with congenital syndromes such as 22q11.2 deletion, Apert, Pfieffer or Treacher-Collins.
- Facial injuries and trauma.
- Hand deformities.
- Hemifacial microsomia.
- Micrognathia (small mandible).
- Microtia (underdeveloped ear).
As one of the top craniofacial centers in the country, Gillette strives to minimize the outward effects of many disorders that can affect your child’s face, head or skin. Our team of experts understands the unique needs of children who have craniofacial conditions that affect their appearance and function.
Our team features pediatric plastic surgeons and neurosurgeons who have chosen to specialize in the unique needs of kids who have complex conditions that began at birth or during childhood. In addition, our pediatric nurse practitioners provide expert clinical care while supporting patients and families.
Kids who have complex disorders often have many needs in addition to craniofacial and plastic surgery. Our specialists will guide you through the services you need as your child grows and develops. Your family might work with a collaborative treatment team that includes experts in:
- Orthotics, Prosthetics and Seating.
- Dentistry and orthodontics.
- Ear, nose and throat (ENT, or otolaryngology).
- Adult Services.
- Medical genetics and genetic counseling.
- Neurodevelopmental pediatrics.
- Occupational therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Radiology and imaging.
- Speech-Language Pathology.
Tests and Treatments
You’ll have access to the latest technology and techniques in reconstructive surgery at Gillette Children’s. We’ll work collaboratively to minimize the need for surgery and maximize results.
- Adoption consultations. We consult with you if you have adopted or are adopting a child who has an existing craniofacial condition that might not have already been successfully treated.
- Prenatal consultations. Before your baby is born, we consult with you about conditions such as craniosynostosis, craniofacial anomalies and hemangiomas, cleft lip and palate and VPD. We share information about current treatment options, provide appropriate counseling and if you wish, help plan a course of treatment.
Tests and evaluations
- Audiology tests, including auditory brainstem response (your child might be sedated for some tests).
- Team-based feeding and nutrition evaluations for cleft lip and palate and a wide range of conditions.
- Evaluations for craniofacial anomalies associated with congenital syndromes such as 22q11.2 deletion, Apert, Pfieffer or Treacher-Collins.
- Speech-language pathology evaluations and Nasopharyngoscopy to address Velopharyngeal Dysfunction.
Surgeries and therapies
- Cleft lip surgery and cleft palate repair.
- Craniofacial and plastic surgery with fixators that reabsorb into the body to reduce multiple surgeries.
- Craniofacial distraction osteogenesis.
- Endoscopic plastic surgery.
- Laser therapy for birthmarks and skin anomalies.
- Nutrition and feeding therapy.
- Speech therapy
- Surgery for craniosynostosis.
- The Gillette CranioCap® orthosis for deformational plagiocephaly.
As leaders in craniofacial and plastic surgery and neurosurgery, your child will benefit from the latest surgical techniques and technology. In many cases, we can strive to make an anomaly unnoticeable at a conversational distance, minimizing the impact on a child's function and social development.