craniofacial surgery

craniofacial surgery

What is craniofacial surgery?

Craniofacial surgery treats conditions that affect the bones and soft tissues of the head and face. This small area of your child’s body is very complex. It affects how your child sees, hears, breathes, chews, swallows, interacts with other people — and even how their brain grows.

For best possible results, children with craniofacial conditions need to receive the right surgery at the right time from an experienced team. Seattle Children’s Craniofacial Center provides the highest level of craniofacial surgical care.

What types of craniofacial surgery are done at Seattle Children’s?

Our craniofacial surgeons perform all types of craniofacial surgery. The most common surgeries are for cleft lip and palateand craniosynostosis. Our surgeons also skillfully adjust the midface and jaws of children with complex syndromes.

  • Cleft lip and palate surgery

  • Craniosynostosis surgery

  • Surgery to enlarge or reposition the midface, jaw and skull

  • Distraction osteogenesis

  • Facial reanimation

  • Surgery for less common conditions

  • Follow-up or revision surgery

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Why choose Seattle Children’s for craniofacial surgery?

Seattle Children’s has a national and international reputation for excellence in craniofacial surgery.

Every year, we treat hundreds of children with conditions from common clefts to rare syndromes. No matter how complex, we have likely taken care of someone with your child’s condition.

See Statistics and Outcomes for details on the children we care for and procedures we perform.

  • Close teamwork, coordinated care

  • 3-D imaging for well-planned treatment

  • Setting and meeting the highest standards

  • Training to improve care for all children

Who is on the craniofacial surgery team?

After training as plastic surgeons, our craniofacial surgeons take extra training (a fellowship) in skull and facial surgery. This prepares them to perform the complex procedures your child may need on their skull and face.

Based on your child’s needs, your craniofacial surgeon may work with other experts to plan and perform your child’s surgery. They may include:

  • A neurosurgeon, who treats brain and skull conditions
  • An oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who treats the jaw, teeth and lower face
  • A surgical craniofacial orthodontist, who prepares your child for surgery that involves the gum line, jaws and teeth

Pediatric anesthesiologists, who have special training in giving anesthesia to children, will ensure your child’s safety and comfort during surgery.

We have full-time nurse practitioners trained for craniofacial surgery, plastic surgery and oral surgery. They:

  • Care for your child in the clinic and hospital
  • Coordinate your child’s care
  • Ensure we meet your child’s needs
  • Teach your child and family about your child’s condition and treatment

10 common question about craniofacial surgery

1What is a craniofacial disorder?
Craniofacial anomalies (CFA) are a diverse group of deformities in the growth of the head and facial bones. Anomaly is a medical term meaning "irregularity" or "different from normal." These abnormalities are present at birth (congenital) and there are numerous variations.
2What causes craniofacial?
What causes craniofacial anomalies? Most medical professionals agree that there is no single factor that causes these types of abnormalities. Instead, there are many factors that may contribute to their development, including the following: Combination of genes.
3How common is craniofacial deformities?
Occurring in about 1 in every 700 live births, cleft lip and cleft palate are easy to identify. But what about the other common craniofacial anomalies?
4How do you become a craniofacial surgeon?
Following graduation from medical school, a prospective craniofacial surgeon must complete a residency training in general plastic surgery, which takes at least two years [REF 5]. Then, a candidate must be accepted into and complete a specialized fellowship in craniofacial surgery, which typically take one year.
5What is Apert syndrome?
Apert syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones (craniosynostosis). This early fusion prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face. In addition, a varied number of fingers and toes are fused together (syndactyly).
6What is Goldenhar syndrome?
Goldenhar syndrome is a craniofacial syndrome, which means that it causes certain abnormalities in the formation of the face and head. It is considered a rare disease and a congenital one, meaning it's present at birth.
7What are the different causes of facial disfigurement?
So what are the most common causes of facial disfigurement - they include: birth related disfigurements including a cleft lip, birthmark or cranio-facial condition; physical injury such as burns, accidents, car crash injuries, scarring or dog bites; health condition including eczema, acne, or vitiligo.
8What does kid in wonder have?
Wonder Auggie's Condition: Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS) In Wonder, Auggie Pullman reveals that he was born with a condition called mandibulofacial dysostosis, which is more commonly known as Treacher Collins Syndrome. ... Treacher Collins Syndrome affects the development of bones and other facial tissues.
9What is the most common congenital abnormality of the skull?
The most common congenital defects appear in the face and skull, spine, and hips. Cleft lip and/or cleft palate is a common abnormality that affects one in 700 babies annually. Cleft lip and cleft palate may occur separately or together.
10What is the most common deformity?
Polydactyly is the most common congenital hand deformity.


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