Sadly, some babies are born with deformities, otherwise known as congenital defects. Fortunately, there’s an entire branch of plastic surgery that can correct many of these defects — craniofacial surgery.
What is craniofacial surgery?
Craniofacial surgery is an umbrella term for plastic surgery that can correct or improve the appearance and function of external deformities, congenital or not. This kind of surgery, known as reconstructive surgery, is often performed in order to improve the function of an affected area after accidents, injuries, birth defects, or even scarring from another surgical procedure. In addition to function, craniofacial surgery also usually improves the appearance of the affected area.
Here are some of the procedures Dr. Trovato performs under craniofacial surgery: congenital ear deformities, microtia or ear reconstruction, adult & pediatric maxillofacial surgery, mandibular distraction, orthognathic surgery, cranioplasty, plagiocephaly, cleft lip and palate repair, bone grafting, tissue expansion, oncologic reconstruction, and pediatric plastic surgery.
Preparing for craniofacial surgery
Depending on the state of the patient’s body before the surgery, there are different preparations that the patient may need to undergo. Dr. Trovato will give you specific instructions regarding diet, such as whether or not the patient needs to be on a full liquid diet or not. Expect to have some blood work and physical examinations done, as it will need to be predetermined as to whether the patient is ready for surgery or not. Some changes might also need to be done for your medications in order to prevent any complications during and after the procedure.
It is also very important to be aware of the risks and effects of the procedure being performed. These can vary with the different surgeries.
Are there any special instructions for my child?
Since craniofacial surgeries mainly deal with correcting congenital defects, the patients are often children. It is best to deal with these congenital defects while they are still young, so that the problem can be corrected before the child is fully grown, and also to improve a child’s developing self-esteem.
Your child will most likely be under general anesthesia during the procedure and will be given a special diet prior to the procedure. The diet will depend on the age of your child — formula-fed infants under 12 months can be fed six hours before the surgery, while breastfed infants can take milk four hours before surgery. In order to promote a sense of comfort, have your child bring along a special stuffed animal or a favorite blanket. It is important to carefully watch your child after the procedure, to prevent any damage to the surgical site.
What can I expect afterwards?
Whether it is maxillofacal surgery, ear reconstruction, or cranioplasty, you can expect to find an improved, balanced look. Deformities will most likely be corrected, and in the case that the patient is not satisfied with the result, another surgery may be needed to provide further correction. The duration of the patient’s recovery will depend on the extent and location of the procedure, and also the affected feature of the body. It is important, however, to avoid any strenuous play or interactions to avoid any complications. Dr. Trovato will be eager to answer all of your questions regarding treatment and recovery.