All you need to know
What is craniofacial surgery?
Types of abnormalities?
Craniofacial surgery is a sub-specialty of oral surgery that focuses on the treatment of patients who have birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Most medical professionals agree that there is no single factor that causes these types of abnormalities. Craniofacial surgery reconstructs damaged bone and tissue and improves the appearance of disfigured areas of the face and head.
There are typically two groups of people who may need craniofacial surgery. The first group includes those who are born with abnormalities of the bones, muscles and other tissues of the skull and face. The issues this group faces are called congenital abnormalities. The other group includes those who develop irregularities in the skill and face later in life, often through diseases or trauma.
What are the types of craniofacial abnormalities?
These are considered to be the most common craniofacial abnormalities:
Cleft lip and/or cleft palate. A separation that happens in the lip or the palate (roof of the mouth), or both. Cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common congenital craniofacial anomalies seen at birth.
Cleft lip. An abnormality in which the lip does not completely form. The degree of the cleft lip can vary greatly, from mild (notching of the lip) to severe (large opening from the lip up through the nose).
Cleft palate. Happens when the roof of the mouth does not completely close, leaving an opening that can extend into the nasal cavity. The cleft may involve either side of the palate. It can extend from the front of the mouth (hard palate) to the throat (soft palate). The cleft may also include the lip.
Craniosynostosis. A condition in which the sutures (soft spots) in the skull of an infant close too early.
Hemifacial microsomia. A condition in which the tissues on one side of the face are underdeveloped. This mostly affects the ear (aural), mouth (oral), and jaw (mandibular) areas.