Why go to a pediatric plastic surgeon?
A pediatric plastic surgeon is someone who has completed an accredited program at a pediatric hospital and devotes a large part of his or her practice to pediatric reconstructive surgery. Dr. Andre Panossian has completed two separate fellowships in the world of pediatrics. After completing his residency at the University of Southern California, he completed a clinical fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, considered to be one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world. Dr. Panossian went on to do additional training at Harvard’s Boston Children’s Hospital where his focus was on Vascular Anomalies and Congenital Hand Deformities. Rest assured that there is no one better suited to meet your child’s reconstructive needs.
“Children are not just little versions of adults. Reconstructive surgery in kids must take into account growth and the unique anatomy of a child.”
What types of problems does a pediatric plastic surgeon treat?
Pediatric plastic surgery addresses the reconstructive requirements of children with birth deformities, victims of trauma, tumor removal, birthmarks and craniofacial anomalies. Some of the common issues treated by Dr. Panossian include cleft lip and palate, microtia (failure of ear development), facial paralysis, vascular birthmark removal, burns, adolescent breast deformities, webbed fingers and toes, extra fingers and toes, lacerations, tethered tongue and many more.
These problems are not commonly encountered in the adult population. Therefore, a regular plastic surgeon is often not the correct person to see for kids. There are different considerations for reconstruction involved including timing of interventions and knowledge of a child’s anatomy. Dr. Panossian has spent considerable time and focus on treating children and has trained at some of the premiere institutions in the world.
Cleft Lip & Palate
Cleft lip and palate occurs in approximately 1 in 700 children. Repair of the cleft lip typically happens at 3 months of age. Palate repair is done at roughly 10 months of age. Dr. Panossian has extensive experience in the repair of clefts of all kinds and participates with different organizations such as Operation Smile.
Webbed fingers, called syndactyly, can present in a variety of ways. They are sometimes part of a condition (such as Apert syndrome) or can more frequently occur by itself. It can affect fingers and toes, and can be on one side or both. Dr. Panossian repairs all types of syndactyly, including the toes. It is the second most common hand deformity.
Extra fingers and toes are referred to aspolydactyly or duplicated digits. This is the most common type of hand deformity in children. Removal of the extra digit may require reconstruction of the bone and supporting ligaments. Dr. Panossian has extensive experience in treating this relatively common problem
Microtia refers to the underdevelopment or absence of the ear. For many kids, this can be a source of great self-consciousness. Dr. Panossian offers two types of ear reconstruction using either an artificial implant (eg, Medpor) or the child’s own rib cartilage. These can be complex reconstructions but results can be quite amazing.
Prominent ears are a very common occurrence. They frequently run in families. Although they may be cute, ears that protrude excessively can be a source of social discomfort and bullying. Dr. Panossian performs otoplasty (or, ear pinning) to correct prominent ears. He also uses the EarWell device for infants with ear deformities.
Birthmarks come in various shapes and colors. Vascular birthmarks such as hemangiomas are some of the most common types. Brown birthmarks (or, nevi) can occur anywhere on the body. Sebaceous nevi (greasy birthmarks) are usually present at birth. Birthmarks may be removed for a number of reasons.
Dr. Panossian has received the highest honor bestowed by the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Journal, the pre-eminent publication of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Read about his ground-breaking smile reanimation technique.
Children requiring plastic and reconstructive surgery are approached much differently than adults. The examination alone can be quite traumatic for children. Dr. Panossian advocates an empathetic, gentle approach to treating kids to put their minds at ease. Even when performing in office treatments such as laceration repair, there are techniques that can help children get through their predicament and lessen their anxiety.
In addition, it is important to understand that children’s bodies and plastic surgery issues are not the same as adults. A growing child will have different considerations regarding timing of treatment, the type of treatment needed, underlying syndromes, and anatomical variations that simply do not occur in adults. A pediatric plastic surgeon with a wealth of experience is the ideal person to treat your child in order to reconcile these differences. Contact us today if your child requires treatment for a physical difference or injury.