Despite the fact facial reconstructive surgery can yield aesthetically pleasing results, patients seek reconstructive surgery to correct abnormalities that can cause challenges in their everyday life. Board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and board certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Fernando Burstein treats facial disfigurements in patients of all ages. Whether the abnormality is caused by congenital disorders (birth defects) or trauma, Dr. Burstein focuses first on function and then on form. When a disorder is present at birth, reconstructive surgery is often performed as early as possible to minimize the medical, social, and psychological challenges a craniofacial patient may encounter.
Although there are various causes of congenital disorders, a recent Brigham Young University study by Professor Emily Bates and her biochemistry students uncovered an important link in the cellular cause of birth defects such as cleft lip and/or palate. By studying an ion channel that regulates a cell’s electrical charge, they found that blocking this channel interrupts the protein’s ability to give instructions to the nucleus. Without these directions, the cells do not properly form whether it’s a toe, an ear, or a lip.
No matter the cause of a congenital disorder, Dr. Burstein works to correct the facial feature’s function and appearance with reconstructive surgery, which often requires multiple surgeries. Cleft lip and/or cleft palate is one of the most common birth defects as about 1 in 1000 babies is born with this disorder. Dr. Burstein also treats deformities of the jaw, chin, skull, ears, etc. These abnormalities can interfere with breathing, eating, speaking, and hearing, so they should be addressed early, though that is not always financially or psychologically possible. Such patients can receive facial reconstruction later in life.
If you are interested in learning more about reconstructive surgery for children or adults, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burstein. He also provides a variety of facial cosmetic procedures and treatments detailed on his website. Be sure to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for facial plastic surgery news.