Kalamazoo’s Parkway Plastic Surgery Can Help Your Child with Congenital Deformities

It can be upsetting to find out that your young child is going to need surgery for a congenital deformity. Parkway Plastic Surgery in Kalamazoo understands the concerns parents and guardians may have and is here to help. Surgical correction for congenital deformities such as cleft and palate and ear tucking are available and can significantly help those who are experiencing negative effects on their physical or emotional well-being. The board-certified plastic surgeons and experienced team at Parkway Plastic Surgery are available for answering your pressing questions and can assist with setting up individual consultations for those looking for specific answers.

What is Cleft Lip and Palate?

The palate refers to the roof of the mouth that separates the cavities of the nose and the mouth. Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital deformities (birth defects) that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not develop properly during the pregnancy. Together, they are known as “orofacial clefts.” As a baby develops, the tissues and cells from either side of the face come together to form the mouth and lips. When they do not fully come together there is an opening that remains, known as the cleft.

Why is it important to correct Cleft Lip and Palate?

Children with cleft lips and/or cleft palates will struggle to perform basic tasks such as feeding and speaking clearly and can suffer from chronic ear infections. They also can suffer from hearing problems and problems with their teeth. Thankfully, with modern technology, orofacial clefts can often be diagnosed during pregnancy with routine ultrasounds. However, there are occasionally certain types of cleft palates that may not be diagnosed until later in life. Parkway Plastic Surgery can help, if you have any concerns, our experienced team and board-certified plastic surgeons are ready to answer any questions.

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is more commonly known as ear tuck surgery. The goal of an otoplasty is to improve symmetry, reshape the ears to be less prominent, or to reduce the size of larger ears. The most common age for patients is between four and fourteen, but the procedure can be performed at older ages without any additional risk. Many children with prominent ears or misshapen ears are subject to teasing and harassment that can lead to anxiety or a negative self-image, an otoplasty can help to relieve that stress. It also helps those who suffer from noticeable asymmetry of the ears, where one is larger than the other or more prominently placed than the other.

What does an otoplasty involve?

Ear tucks are typically performed under general anesthesia and performed as an outpatient procedure. In most cases, the otoplasty will leave a small, faint scar behind the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even in situations where asymmetry is being corrected, typically surgery will be performed on both ears to ensure proper balance and symmetry. Contact Parkway Plastic Surgery today to set up a consult where our board-certified plastic surgeons will work with you to perform an individual evaluation and develop a specific treatment plan regarding reshaping of the structural cartilage of the ear.