Does Your Child Need Pediatric Plastic Surgery?

Posted on: 5 January 2017


Plastic surgery is either reconstructive, corrective, or cosmetic. An adult or anyone who has reached the point where they have quit growing can undergo any of the three types of plastic surgery without worrying that a growth spurt will create problems. When it comes to children, things are different. While there are times when plastic surgery is required and other times when it is a good idea, there are also times when it should be put off until the patient is older. Here is a bit of information about plastic surgery for children.


If your child has been in any type of accident or has some type of birth defect that causes disfigurement, reconstructive surgery may be required to function normally or lead a normal life. Examples of this can include correcting a cleft palate, a misshapen head, or limbs that are twisted or bent. If the child is young, it is likely that he or she will need to undergo further surgeries as the bones grow. Any parts that have been made or altered during the initial surgery will not grow as the rest of the bones do so they will need to be replaced to accommodate for natural growth.


Corrective plastic surgery is very similar to reconstructive except that no added parts are needed. This could be something like bad scarring from a dog bite or from a car accident. While the child may still be able to function normally, he or she may have issues with self-esteem due to the disfigurement. Corrective surgery may also be to adjust or change the shape of an ear or to flatten it against the head. Without the surgery, the child may have issues hearing because the sounds do not funnel into the inner ear correctly. In most cases, there will not be a need for additional surgery, or at least not as many additional procedures to keep up with growth.


Cosmetic surgery is done strictly because someone wants to look different. Most pediatric plastic surgeons agree that this type of surgery should not be done until the child has quit growing or is close to completely grown physically. This will minimize the risk of complications and/or the need for future surgeries to maintain the desired looks.

If your child has a disfigurement that causes mental, physical, or emotional pain, talk with a pediatric plastic surgeon, such as those found at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati, to see what can be done. He or she will know how to deal with the situation and whether or not the surgery should be performed.