There’s something extraordinary about a child’s face. It’s the feature most visible to the world, with the power to build a child’s confidence and shape his or her sense of self. No one understands this better than Robert Wood, M.D. The pediatric craniofacial and plastic surgeon has dedicated his distinguished career to helping children who have conditions affecting the face, head and skin maximize their appearance and function. But Wood knows the impact of his work extends far beyond physical appearance. “I want to improve the quality of a child’s whole life,” says Wood, who also serves as associate medical director for craniofacial services at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. “I want to build that child a better future.”
Renowned Expertise Gives Families Hope
One of the nation’s most experienced craniofacial surgeons, Wood served as director of the Emory University Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies in Atlanta before joining Gillette in 1999. He has since treated more than 12,000 children who have conditions such as cleft lip and palate, a disfiguring birthmark, or a head shape issue caused by improper skull growth (craniosynostosis) or sleeping position (deformational plagiocephaly). He also sees children who have other disorders that affect the skull and face. Wood and the Gillette craniofacial team—an integrated group comprised of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, speech and language pathologists, and experts in dentistry and orthodontia—offer answers and support to families facing complex diagnoses. “Providing comprehensive care is essential,” says Wood. “Many of the conditions we treat are life-threatening if not handled properly. We’ve brought together what I think is one of the premier teams in the country in caring for these children.”
Research Improves Patient Care, Safety
Wood’s dedication to patient care has driven him to become an internationally recognized researcher. His work has contributed to numerous advancements in surgical techniques, including endoscopic surgery to remove facial masses, and resorbable fixation for more effective correction of craniosynostosis. He also played a key role in the development of the Gillette CranioCap® orthosis for infants who have deformational plagiocephaly. Most recently, Wood pioneered a method to eliminate the need for blood transfusions during craniosynostosis surgery.
Treatment Outcomes Extend Beyond Childhood
For children who have challenging craniofacial issues, Wood’s surgical skills and passion for innovation make a lifetime of difference. “The work I do lasts the span of a child’s life—maybe 90 years,” he says. “It’s a responsibility and a privilege to make that kind of impact.”
Download a free copy of our Craniofacial Outcomes Report to learn more about how we're helping children who have craniofacial conditions.