Pediatricians treat most medical problems facing young children and adolescents. In severe injuries and special circumstances, however, the expertise of a plastic surgeon may be required. These cases may include congenital disabilities of the chest, breasts, limbs, face, and the cranium. Facial paralysis, tumors, vascular anomalies, and hand anomalies afflict children throughout the world. Other problems, such as traumatic injuries and burns, are also frequently treated by plastic surgeons. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons have made significant contributions to a variety of physical afflictions of children and adolescents.
Unfortunately, many children and adolescents fail to get the appropriate surgical intervention often because of fear that the operation may do more harm than good. This misconception is shared not only by ordinary people but also by some clinicians. When surgical options are denied, what is often overlooked is the fact that the young patient bears the emotional and physical burden of a deformity for the rest of his or her life.
Plastic surgeons have to consider many factors when treating the pediatric or adolescent population. This is often done with the help of a group of doctors and specialists, such as pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, endocrinologists, and clinical psychologists. The importance of body image in the emotional and psychological development of the child is paramount. Body image is defined as the perception or attitude towards one’s physical appearance. If the body image of the child becomes a significant issue and is not addressed at a critical developmental stage, the child may suffer from low self-esteem and insecurity well into his or her adult years.
The line that divides reconstructive plastic surgery from cosmetic surgery has already been shown to be very fine and difficult to see in adults. This holds true for children as well. At what point can one say that the repair of facial injuries or breast reduction in a child is purely functional and not cosmetic? Even a small laceration on the face of a child is frequently the reason for an emergency room consultation with a plastic surgeon to address the parental concern that their son or daughter will have to live permanently with a scar. Plastic surgeons, therefore, treat children (and sometimes their parents) not only for their physical problems but also for psychological reasons.
Among the common cosmetic operations performed on this group of patients are the following:
It goes without saying that safety is first and foremost in the minds of both the parents and the physician caring for the child. For this reason, a team of physicians and nurses properly trained to care for these young patients is of critical importance. Although many pediatric and adolescent operations are performed in a hospital environment, some procedures may be safely done in an outpatient ambulatory center. Pediatric patients require more preoperative preparation and postoperative surveillance than adults. Some patients with congenital conditions or predisposition to risk factors may need specialized equipment that may not be readily available in an outpatient facility. Common pediatric and adolescent procedures performed in an ambulatory center are otoplasty, gynecomastia surgery, breast reduction, rhinoplasty, and removal of nevi and other lesions. More complex reconstructive procedures, such as congenital deformities, cleft lip and palate surgery, and chest wall deformities, are performed in the hospital.
Dr. Marefat and the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you set up a private consultation to discuss pediatric cosmetic surgery in Virginia. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our locations at 703-516-7600 (Arlington area) or at 703-560-9583 (Woodbridge).
Dr. Marefat offers a number of financial assistance programs and payment programs to cover the cost of pediatric cosmetic surgery treatments in Virginia. Please visit the patient financing section of our website for more details or ask the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery about these options so that you can get started with pediatric cosmetic surgery treatments in Virginia today.