Birth defects in which reconstructive plastic surgery can help include such deformities as cleft lips, cleft palates, malformed ears, and cases where the formation of jaw and chin affects normal facial movement or eating.
Such defects not only inhibit normal everyday life activities, but also have potentially severe social and psychological consequences especially for children and teens. Therefore, it is best (often necessary), therefore, to address these problems in the early years of life or as soon as they are diagnosed.
The number of plastic surgery procedures for birth defects has grown and continues to grow, partially, perhaps, due to ever increasing population. The real causes of these defects, however, are believed to be related to prenatal conditions and congenital abnormalities. While the average occurrence of these defects is even in all countries and nations, the number of people who continue living with these.
Often, expertise of more than one specialist are required to handle these cases successfully, for example, depending on the case at hand, a plastic surgeon and an ENT specialist or a prosthodontist (a dental surgeon specilised in maxillofacial surgery) may need to work together designing and executing an integrated treatment plan. The costs of treatment in such cases will, therefore, often be higher.
While the main object of a reconstructive surgery procedure for birth defects is often to repair functional handicaps such as to remove or reduce problems in breathing, eating, hearing or speaking, what the surgeons would ideally want to achieve for the patient at the same time is a better, socially acceptable appearance.
Here is where the component of the surgeons’ training related to human body aesthetics comes into the picture. Knowledge of aesthetic standards for ear, for example, guides a plastic surgeon in ottoplasty, one of the most common reconstructive procedures among teens. Similarly, a dental surgeon is guided by his or her knowledge of aesthetic aspects of otherwise healthy teeth when he or she is carries out a smile makeover procedure.
Birth defects can be very debilitating and having them corrected with proper reconstructive surgery procedures will improve the quality of patient’s life in many ways. On one hand it will solve the patients’ functional problems enabling them to carry out their daily activities in normal ways, on the other it will improve their appearance thereby paving the way to effective social life and enhanced their self-esteem.
If you, or someone related to you, are suffering from a similar birth defect, do not hesitate to ask for help.