Although many people consider plastic surgery to be something primarily geared toward adults of all ages, the reality is that many children can benefit from plastic surgery procedures, too. While a significant percentage of adult surgeries of this nature are for purely cosmetic reasons -- breast augmentations, eye lifts and tummy tucks, for example -- you aren't going to take your child to a plastic surgery consultation with a purely cosmetic change in mind, although it might be a consideration. Instead, many children can benefit from plastic surgery to address issues that have been prevalent since birth or that could pose problems as the child ages. Here are some cases in which pediatric plastic surgery can be a viable option.
If your child is born with a cleft lip, it could take several different forms. In many cases, this condition is characterized by a notch that runs from the upper lip to the underside of the nose. Repairing this issue isn't merely for cosmetic reasons -- if left untreated, a cleft lip can lead to problems with the child tries to breastfeed, as well as difficulty with speech once he or she begins to talk. In order to repair these issues promptly, this form of plastic surgery is typically performed before the child is 12 weeks old.
Children can face a variety of different issues related to their ears, including ears that protrude significantly from the child's head. Although protruding ears don't typically harm your child's hearing ability, they can be a concern because your child might feel self-conscious about them as he or she ages -- and bullying at school might even occur. A procedure known as an otoplasty is performed to essentially pull the ears back so that they don't stick out as dramatically. In many cases, it's ideal for children to have this surgery completed before they begin attending school.
While small moles on your child shouldn't be a concern, larger moles -- known as nevi -- are something that some parents wish to have removed for their children. If the mole is in a place of prominence, cosmetic factors might be considered. However, these large moles can lead to an increased risk of melanoma cancer at some point in childhood or later in life, which is why many parents opt to have this procedure done for their children while they're still young.
To learn more about plastic surgery options for your child, speak to a surgeon like those at Shriner's Hospital Cincinnati.Share