The field of pediatric plastic surgery is a challenging one that’s made all the more difficult due to the fact that children’s bodies are still growing and changing. New advances in pediatric plastic surgery may bring new hope to these young patients as well as their parents.
Recently, a London hospital made headlines by successfully creating new ears out of rib cartilage in a boy who was born with microtia, a congenital ear deformity. Although this primarily cosmetic ear surgery and won’t improve hearing (a previous surgery was performed to implant a hearing aid), the psychological gains from such a procedure can be significant.
Conjoined Twin Separation
Throughout history, successful separation of conjoined twins has always been a challenging procedure, but today’s advanced plastic surgery techniques can mean an improved quality of life as well as a superior final aesthetic result. For example, a recent separation of conjoined twins in Texas began with a slow stretching of the skin, similar to the process of using tissue expanders in breast reconstruction. This first step should allow for sufficient tissue to wrap around each twin’s body after separation.
Cleft lip and palate repair remains one of the most commonly performed pediatric plastic surgery procedures both domestically and abroad. The surgery has become more refined over the years, which means the final results have only improved over time, too.
Far beyond just improving appearance, cleft lip and palate repair can mean the difference between life and death particularly for babies, as this deformity can drastically impair the ability to nurse, as well as delaying speech development and contributing to continued dental problems.