East Tennessee Pediatric Reconstructive Surgery
Surgery for Restoring Function & Physical Appearance
R. Mark Ray, M.D., an ear, nose and throat specialist and reconstructive surgeon, can begin
treating a child with an oral cleft before they take their first breath.
Pediatric reconstructive surgeons restore the appearance, movement and
use of body parts that have been changed due to injuries, developmental
abnormalities, birth defects, tumors, burns, disease or birthmarks. Our
reconstructive surgeons work with other Children's Hospital specialists
to create a plan for your child and schedule surgeries at the right time
in the healing process.
Reconstructive surgeries can be strongly tied to self-esteem and confidence
during childhood. Our doctors aim to restore function, but also realize
that your child's looks may be affected by the surgery. By coming
to a hospital specifically for children, your child will be treated by
doctors who understand how the surgery's effects will last and change
as your child grows in the long term. Keep reading to learn about some
common reasons younger patients need reconstructive surgery.
The most common ear abnormalities are microtia and prominent ears. These
conditions usually happen with other facial growth problems in your child.
Microtia means that one or both of your child’s ears is small and
undeveloped. This issue will be present at your child’s birth. Treatment
and surgery for microtia begins after age 7. Prominent ears mean that
your child’s ears stick out very noticeably from their head. If
needed, your doctor will perform an otoplasty to pin ears back closer
to the head or reduce their size. Otoplasty is the most common reconstructive
procedure for children.
Your pediatric reconstructive surgeon may work with your pediatric dermatologist
to treat your child’s vascular birthmarks. Many birthmarks do not
require surgery. When the birthmarks are more challenging, they can appear
as large legions. The surgeon will work with a team of other specialists
to find out if your child would benefit from birthmark removal surgery.
Some babies are born with syndactyly, which causes two or more fingers
or toes to be fused together, or duplication of fingers. Both of these
conditions can be fixed by pediatric reconstructive surgeons.
Traumatic injuries from accidents, burns and other unexpected events may
need surgery to restore appearance or function. Reconstructive surgeons
can reshape bone, repair soft tissue and skin and use implants to rebuild
facial structures. Deep cuts, animal bites and scars can also be treated
by these specialists.
Your child may require reconstructive surgery if they have deformities
of the skull, closing the palate or rebuilding facial features in the
jaw and skull. The craniofacial surgery team includes:
A coordinated team can make sure your child receives the best pre-surgery
and follow-up care possible.
The most common craniofacial issues reconstructive surgeons treat are: