Pediatric Plastic Surgery: Know the Facts

Pediatric Plastic Surgery: Know the Facts

by Yenny (SU)

Most people don’t immediately associate plastic surgery with pediatrics.

But because a wide range of congenital and traumatic deformities can cause of a host of problems for children, a highly specialized area of medicine – pediatric plastic surgery – addresses these types of ailments, which can range from blisters and burns to complex genetic deformities.

When your child requires surgery, there are many steps you can take to ensure he or she receives the best possible care.

Specialized Training

For one, you’ll want to select an appropriately experienced surgeon. 

Pediatric plastic surgeons undergo rigorous training: after four years of medical school, they complete a three-year residency training in general surgery, followed by three years of additional training in plastic surgery. It doesn’t end there. Additional fellowship training focuses on pediatric plastic surgery, and certification is obtained from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

Pediatric plastic surgeons are trained to interact with children. They offer a warm and soothing approach and are particularly successful at finding out what’s ailing your child – especially if a child is unable to articulate it themselves.

Specialized Care

Pediatric surgeons may specialize in certain birth defects or injuries. Not sure what type of specialist to seek out? You can start by asking your child’s pediatrician, who may be able to refer you to the right type of pediatric surgeon, depending on your child’s unique situation.

Many people seek the help of a dermatologist when their child has a mysterious-looking mole, skin tag, or cyst. But if surgical removal is required – due to discomfort, size, or possible threat – a pediatric plastic surgeon can ensure that removal and reconstruction are completed in a way that diminishes scarring. Skin grafts and tissue reconstruction are additional procedures better left to a surgeon’s hands. 

Pediatric plastic surgery is not just about aesthetics. Certain congenital conditions, such as hairy nevi – a giant, darkly pigmented hairy patch of skin that continues to grow as the child grows – may lead to cancer if left untreated. 

Post-Surgical Recovery

After surgery, one of the most important components of your child’s healing is wound care.

Did you know that children have a greater tendency to scar? The relative thickness of a child’s skin is a detriment to their ability to heal. Together with their high activity level and tendency toward injury can put children at risk for long-term scarring should a wound keep re-opening. Heed the sage advice of your doctor when it comes to dealing with a child’s surgical wounds.

Atlantic Center for Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery offers a wide range of wound care and surgical options for children. Our medical specialists strive to educate parents and children on proper post-surgical wound care and their goal is always the same: minimal pain and discomfort for your little one. If your child requires pediatric plastic surgery, contact Dr. Eric Stelnicki and his talented team at (954) 983-1899 for more information or to schedule a consultation.