Children who need maxillofacial surgery require expert, individualised care focused on their specific needs as they grow. The team of surgeons of the Maxillofacial Institute specialise in child, juvenile and adolescent surgery, and can treat both congenital malformations (present at birth) and acquired problems.
What does the surgery consist of?
Paediatric maxillofacial surgery encompasses oral, facial and cranio-facial bone surgery in children and adolescents. The surgery performed can help to resolve a wide range of congenital disorders and acquired problems, reconstructing any acquired cranio-facial defect, correcting congenital deformities and restoring the facial expression. The objective of child maxillofacial surgery is to restore the normal appearance and normal functionality of the facial organs.
- Oral surgery: at times, children need dental extractions due to malpositions, ankylosis or dental cysts. The institute’s team offers both surgical and conservative treatment of oral pathologies.
- Frenulum surgery
Children can suffer from lingual and labial frenum problems when these are too short. This problem is associated with difficulty for proper speech and phonation, malposition or mobilisation of teeth or difficulty to correctly position the teeth along the dental arch.
Through minor, very short surgical interventions and with local anaesthesia we can solve these problems, which can have a greater impact on the child into adulthood.
Facial traumas are more frequent in children approximately 1-2 years old, when the child begins to walk, and between 8-10 years old. A child’s anatomical structure is different to that of an adult, due to which an expert team of maxillofacial surgeons is required.
Facial traumas may only affect tissues or also bones, due to which at times they may require a wide range of treatments to restore their normal structure.
Our surgical team has expertise in the repair of tissues and skin and in bone remodelling and in the use of grafts to reconstruct the normal facial structure. In severe facial injuries, there are frequently associated lesions. If a facial fracture is diagnosed in a child, there will also probably be concomitant cranioencephalic trauma. Ophthalmological injuries are also frequent in periorbital fractures. For these reasons, multidisciplinary post-traumatic care is important.
Labio-palatine fissures and palatine fissure are the most frequent congenital facial malformations. They are caused by an alteration in facial development. To properly treat these patients, the treatment must be performed by a multidisciplinary team and attended immediately after birth, since they require special care.
Fortunately, these defects can be surgically corrected by maxillofacial surgeons: lip (cheilorrhapy, palate (palatoplasty, veloplasty), alveolus (bone graft), nose (rhinoseptoplasty), etc. These surgeries are essential for correcting the speech and swallowing function, good facial appearance and social adaptation of the child. Each anatomical structure has an optimal age for surgical correction depending on their development, due to which these patients must be monitored continuously.
Reparative and reconstructive paediatric maxillofacial surgery
Paediatric and reconstructive maxillofacial surgery encompasses a wide range of aesthetic procedures to improve appearance. These procedures include rhinoplasties (nose surgery), blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), orthoplasty (repositioning of prominent ears) and orthognathic surgery (correction of jaw divergence or bite problems and genioplasty (chin repositioning surgery).
Correction of scars
Our multidisciplinary team may use a variety of procedures to reduce the appearance of scars, including keloids.
Tumours in the maxillofacial region in children are normally benign, but the malignity of the process must be ruled out to ensure adequate treatment. In the event of confirming a malign process, a multidisciplinary approach is essential.
Additionally, child neoplasies have gained importance in the treatment of child cancer, achieving long-term survival rates of up to 90% in some tumours, which makes this type of population, require greater medical and sanitary care at all levels. Among the secondary effects of cancer treatments, oral manifestations represent a frequent cause of discomfort, normally due to caries, gingivitis and poor hygiene.
Like adults, children and youths may suffer from child sleep apnea. In babies, the main cause of sleep apnea is prematurity, but any anatomical obstruction of the upper airways may cause sleep apnea, like the presence of retrognathia, macroglossia, adenoid hypertrophy and nasal septum deviation, among others. Patients with sleep apnea require a detailed and expert study, such as that carried out at the Maxillofacial Institute.
In the event of penetrating ear pain that is often irradiated at temporal or cervical level, we must always rule out temporomandibular joint (ATM) pathologies. In paediatric patients, pain in said joint may be secondary to growth, but we always recommend ruling out an underlying pathology in the joint, whether secondary to bruxism or caused by an anatomical malformation or neoformation, etc.