Pediatric plastic surgery is performed for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes among children. Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body that are the result of congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, tumors or other forms of disease.
What is it?
Pediatric plastic surgery is directed towards fixing and reconstructing deformities and abnormalities in children caused by injury, illness, or birth defects. The treatment of these malformations and abnormalities aims to improve both the overall physical function and appearance for a child.
What are the subspecialties?
There are many subspecialties extending from pediatric plastic surgery, but the more common subspecialties correct cleft lip and palate reconstruction, craniosynostosis, head shape abnormalities, and severe burns.
What are the commonly associated medical diseases or symptoms?
The most commonly recognized condition treated by pediatric plastic surgeons is cleft lip and palate. This is a birth defect where tissue in the mouth and face do not connect correctly, resulting in empty space within the face. Other common conditions and symptoms are severe burns, craniosynostosis, and vascular lesions. Craniosynostosis is a birth defect which causes a flat spot on the back of the skull. Vascular lesions are a malformation birthmark caused by arteries, veins, capillaries, and blood vessels that cluster and do not form properly.
What are the commonly associated medical procedures?
Procedures commonly associated with this specialty include surgery to correct cleft lip and palate, facial reconstruction, and skin grafting. Skin grafting is a technique where skin is taken from another part of a patient’s body and then transferred to the damaged site to restorative purposes.
Are there any preventative measures I can take?
Many believe that plastic surgery is merely to improve physical appearances and ill-perceived bodily features. However, this is not the case with pediatric plastic surgery. More often than not, reconstruction is for improving features caused by birth defects and abnormalities that are beyond the control of the child and pose a significant disadvantage to quality of life.
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