Today, here in New Orleans and in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, parents of children that suffer severe injury to the face or head have good cause for optimism. NOLA Craniofacial offers the latest medical advancements in pediatric facial reconstruction and we specialize in working with children following facial trauma.
If it was still just sticks and stones, that would be one thing, but the world moves a lot faster than it did once upon a time.
Accidents happen. Childhood injuries are part life—all just part of growing up—and whether they occur in a car wreck or due to a fall, whether sports-related or the result of interpersonal or other violence, the resulting facial fractures, fractures of the skull, and/or soft tissue damage is occasionally severe and potentially disfiguring.
With access to a specialized craniofacial team and thanks to improving technologies and advanced techniques, parents and children can expect excellent cosmetic results in treating even the most devastating facial traumas.
Facial Reconstruction and the Growth of Your Child
Following acute trauma, once emergency room doctors have stabilized the situation, it is important your child is seen by a team of pediatric specialists. These doctors will work to restore both function and appearance, with a view to the future growth of your child’s facial features.
The involvement of trained pediatric specialists, including a craniofacial surgeon, is vitally important, as improperly treated injuries can cause facial deformity as your child matures.
Families in New Orleans have access to excellent craniofacial teams at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans and at LSU Health Sciences Center. At each of these institutions, you can expect that your child will receive skilled attention from specialists familiar with all of the affected regions of the face.
A pediatric ENT will test your child’s hearing, and you should expect to meet with a pediatric ophthalmologist to assess vision. You will also want to ensure that your child’s craniofacial surgeon has a good understanding of facial growth, dental occlusion, and dental eruption patterns.
The Latest Advancements in Pediatric Facial Reconstruction
Our bodies are wonderful, self-repairing machines, and our children especially are incredibly resilient. As technology evolves, the best medical innovations are those which help our bodies heal themselves.
At NOLA Craniofacial, we prefer minimally-invasive techniques and biocompatible materials in pediatric facial reconstruction, including reconstruction of pediatric facial fractures and deficiencies:
In neonates, in younger children, and even in some older children, depending on the health of the patient, bone deficiencies in the jaw and mid-face can be recovered using a technique known as distraction osteogenesis. New, minimally-invasive techniques allow us to stimulate the growth of healthy bone in order to restore normal facial function and appearance.
In most children, the bones of the skull continues to grow at a rapid rate through puberty, which means that children who suffer traumatic facial injuries require specialized implants to stabilize facial fractures.
In the past, titanium plates were used to repair facial fractures. Once the bones had healed, a second surgery would be required to remove those plates.
Today, we use biocompatible materials that are dissolved over time as the body heals itself. This dramatically reduces complications of recovery. At NOLA Craniofacial, we prefer MEDPOR® biomaterial by Stryker for craniofacial reconstruction.
Virtual Surgical Planning
In situations where surgery can be delayed, digital imaging allows extreme precision in planning and for design of patient-specific implants to repair bone deficiencies.