Reconstruction of Craniofacial Abnormalities


Craniofacial reconstruction surgery is a group of procedures used to reshape the skull and face if a child is born with abnormalities.

What is it?

Craniofacial reconstruction surgery is plastic surgery used to reconstruct abnormal skull or face caused by birth defects or genetic disorders. This procedure is very calculated because the surgeon must account for bone and skull growth as the child gets older. In order to take growth into account surgeons use special techniques during surgery and go through meticulous planning.

How to prepare?

When preparing for the surgery there will be a series of tests to identify the abnormalities prior to surgery. X-rays, imaging studies, MRIs, and CT scans are all used to analyze the reconstruction site. If the surgery involves the spinal cord, eyes, or brain, the surgeon will need to speak with a neurologist or ophthalmologist. During the consultation surgeons, will find the exact cause of the abnormality.

What happens during the process?

The patient will be given a general anesthetic. There are many different factors that go into craniofacial surgery. Maturation, cause of abnormality, area of reconstruction are all accounted for when planning the surgery. These factors make it difficult to describe the average craniofacial surgery because every surgery is different. While sedated the surgeon will execute the plan made during the consultation. Surgery typically takes three to six hours. After surgery, the patient will usually stay in the hospital for about a week depending on the patient’s progress.

Risk and complications:

* Bleeding

* Breathing problems

* Reaction to anesthesia

* Infection

* Bruising under skin

* Damage to nerves in the face and head

* Visible scars

* Bone graft failure

* Need for further surgery


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