Melissa, a nursing student working as a medical assistant for an EMT office in Atlanta, has known Dr. Fernando Burstein for nearly her entire life. Born with craniosynostosis, a congenital disorder caused by the improper fusing of the skull’s plates, Melissa was referred to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she first met Dr. Burstein. When the cranial sutures, fibrous bands of tissue that connect the bones of the skull, fail to fuse correctly, the result can be a misshapen skull or even neurological side effects if the brain is impacted by the malformations. To correct this condition, Dr. Burstein performs surgery to re-separate the sutures so that they may properly grow back together.
Melissa underwent her first reconstructive surgery when she was just a baby. Because of the neurological impact this condition can have, the procedure is typically performed on infants before they reach their first year of age, so that the brain can have a chance to develop normally. Dr. Burstein frequently works closely with a pediatric neurosurgeon, as he did in Melissa’s case, in order to help ensure that there are no neurological side effects.
“By the time I was seven, I guess that most people couldn’t tell that there had ever been a problem, but I was still very self-conscious,” Melissa went on to explain. “I felt like I still had these dents in my skull.”
While the fontanels (or soft spots) on the skull generally solidify sometime between 20 months and 2 years of age, the bones of the human body, including the skull, continue to grow and shift throughout puberty, so it is not uncommon for some craniosynostosis patients to seek additional reconstructive surgery procedures later in life.
“He completely fixed the problem, and after that I felt much more outgoing and confident. I even got involved in dance and gymnastics. Even though I was just a kid, I can remember thinking that Dr. Burstein finally made me feel normal.”
Now a professional woman in her twenties, Melissa went in for her last surgery just this past August.
“I never even considered going to anyone other than Dr. Burstein; he had always been so nice and understanding and I felt like he knew my head better than anyone else alive. I was amazed that he immediately saw exactly what I wanted to have done. I had some concerns about my brow region, but felt awkward asking for extra cosmetic attention. As Dr. Burstein went over minor reconstructive improvements he wanted to make, he explained how he would be able to blend in elements of a brow lift to address the very concerns I was having. It was almost like he was reading my mind.”
With over twenty-five years as a practicing, board-certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, Dr. Burstein has a tremendous amount of experience with facial anatomy. Understanding the subtle interplay of the muscles and bones that underlie the facial features allows him to achieve subtle, natural looking cosmetic surgery results.
“It’s the gradual, subtle changes that build up over time to make a drastic difference,” Melissa commented. “Because of Dr. Burstein, I have always been extremely open and willing to talk about my condition. It always makes me feel good when people say that they never would have noticed if I hadn’t told them, but it means even more to me to be able to help educate people and alleviate some of the fears that they may feel.”
If you are interested in learning more about a plastic surgery procedure I perform, please contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, today. Additionally, some reconstructive procedures may be covered by insurance, and Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including CareCreditSM, in order to assist you. Be sure to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.