Congenital Deformities

Plastic surgeons reconstruct patients with different types of birth defects. A common birth defect that parents consult for are clefts of lips and/or palates of their newborn child. These deformities occur in roughly 1/1,000 new births. Cleft lips are usually repaired by the age of 3 months. In many countries, families cannot afford to have the surgical correction. A cleft palate is a condition in which normal speech is not possible. 

Surgery inside the mouth to correct this problem and create normal speech is usually performed at about 12 months of age. The most common hand birth defect is syndactyly. With this problem, two or more of the fingers of the hand are not separated at birth. Surgery to separate them is usually performed at approximately 12 months of age to promote good finger growth and development. Another common hand deformity is thumb duplication; a baby born with two thumbs.

One of the two thumbs is usually removed at age 1 year or so. Yet another common congenital deformity looked after by plastic surgeons is the hemangioma. These are red growths that appear anywhere on a baby's body at or shortly after birth. Most of these grow quickly in the first year of life and then regress spontaneously on their own by the age of 5 to 8 years. Some of them may require surgery. Many other congenital deformities are seen and treated by Plastic Surgeons, including patients with abnormal facial bony morphology, constriction bands, giant hairy nevi, etc.

* The above photos are from the archive of Dr Jackson IT 

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