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Craniofacial Anomalies

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Diagnosing and Treating Craniofacial Anomalies

Diagnosing a craniofacial anomaly usually starts with a physical exam, as most of these conditions have distinct characteristics.  A diagnosis may be based on skull measurements, physical exam, and family history. CT scans and/or X-ray imaging are usually not necessary, but they may be used to confirm a diagnosis.

An infant or child with a craniofacial anomaly should be evaluated by an expert craniofacial team, which may draw on the expertise of a range of specialists, including a pediatric neurosurgeon, a craniofacial plastic surgeon, a pediatric dentist or ENT, or other experts. These experts will determine if treatment is necessary, and if it is they will recommend the best treatment plan. (See Doctors Who Treat Craniofacial Anomalies.)

Some craniofacial anomalies resolve on their own with no treatment, others can be treated with non-surgical or minimally invasive procedures. Surgery is sometimes the only effective form of correcting a serious craniofacial anomaly. The best surgeons for these conditions are specially trained pediatric neurosurgeons with advanced skills and experience in craniofacial problems, working with an interdisciplinary team of other pediatric specialists. Major medical centers like the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center are excellent choices for these procedures; our pediatric neurosurgeons have the extensive resources of the entire Weill Cornell faculty as well as the advanced facilities of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at hand.

Find out more about the Craniofacial Program of the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center.

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Reviewed by: Mark Souweidane, M.D.
Last reviewed/last updated: January 2019