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Hemifacial Microsomia (HFM)

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Surgery for Hemifacial Microsomia

There is no single surgery for hemifacial microsomia — a variety of different surgical procedures may be needed to address the range of deformities a child has. That’s why it’s so important that a child diagnosed with hemifacial microsomia be seen by a multidisciplinary team of experts in a craniofacial program. Some of the procedures in a patient’s treatment plan might be:

  • Reconstruction of an underdeveloped lower jaw, using a bone graft from the ribs or elsewhere in the body.
  • Bone distraction, a procedure in which a device is placed on the jaw to help lengthen it. The device needs to remain in place for weeks or months, but the lengthening occurs from natural bone growth so no bone grafts are required.
  • External ear reconstruction, which can involve multiple surgeries over the course of many months. Since a child’s ear does not reach adult size until about age 6, the surgery is not usually done before then.  A prosthetic ear may be used instead of  reconstruction.
  • Plastic surgery in the soft tissue of the cheek to increase symmetry.
  • Cleft lip/cleft palate repair, if necessary.

Additional surgeries may be necessary as the child grows, in order to achieve an acceptable cosmetic result.

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

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