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Craniofacial surgery in Houston, TX
Craniofacial surgery in Houston, TX

Craniomaxillofacial Surgery

Craniomaxillofacial Diagnosis & Treatment

Craniomaxillofacial surgeons specialize in the soft tissue and skeletal structures of the face and skull and treat anomalies caused by genetic mutations, environmental exposure during pregnancy, or injuries caused by disease or traumatic events. These facial deformities can interfere with eating, speech, can cause hearing loss, and dental issues. An abnormal facial appearance can also dramatically affect a child’s social and psychological wellbeing if left untreated.  

At Alfi Oral, Dental Implant & Facial Surgery both Dr. Alfi and Dr. Hassan perform reconstructive craniomaxillofacial surgery for patients of all ages. Our office utilizes the latest 3D imaging technology, virtual surgical planning techniques for more accurate surgical execution, and offers multiple forms of anesthesia. Patients treated with these advancements experience shorter surgery times, faster recoveries, and life-changing aesthetic outcomes. 

We understand that treatment for a craniofacial disorder requires individualized and compassionate care, which is why each patient will receive a treatment plan unique to their needs. Our specialists use every resource available to deliver a safe and successful treatment that provides patients with the most optimal results. If you or your child are in need of this specialized care, please contact us to schedule an appointment at our office in Houston, TX.

Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate Deformities 

One of the most common birth defects to occur is a cleft lip and/or palate. During the early weeks of pregnancy the two sides of the face each develop individually. Sometimes, due to genetic mutations or other unidentifiable environmental factors the sections do not meet fully, resulting in a cleft. This separation can occur in the lip or the roof of the mouth, and can affect eating, speech, cause dental issues, and leave a child with an abnormal facial appearance. 

Early intervention by a team of specialists is necessary for the proper evaluation, management of treatment, and facial development in cases of cleft lip and/or palate. Dr. Alfi and Dr. Hassan are experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons with an extensive understanding of facial anatomy, and will be an important member of your child’s treatment team. Our oral surgeons will perform the cleft lip and/or palate surgery necessary to restore the function and appearance of the child’s mouth and face. 

Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate Reconstruction 

A child born with a cleft lip and/or palate can experience difficulties with eating, their nutrition intake and development will be monitored to determine the appropriate time to operate. Once the child is old enough the surgery to close the separation in the lip and/or rebuild the roof of the mouth will be performed. The goal of this surgery is to restore oral function and provide a more normal appearance to the face. The severity of every cleft is different and the extent of the child’s condition will determine the number of procedures necessary to fully repair the cleft. 

  • Cleft Lip Repair. This procedure is typically performed between the ages of 2 and 6 months. The timing and treatment will be determined by the patient’s overall medical needs to exclude any respiratory problems while eating and breathing. The surgeon will make an incision on each side of the cleft from the lip to the nostril, use tissue from the area to bring both sides into alignment, and place sutures to close the lip. In some cases, a second procedure is needed to repair and reshape the nostril. 
  • Cleft Palate Repair. A cleft palate surgery is a more complicated procedure and typically performed once the child is 9 to 18 months of age,  but must be completed before significant speech development occurs. This procedure focuses on the soft tissue in the roof of the mouth and allows the child to eat, swallow,  and talk normally.

Once the lip and/or palate are repaired, the need for additional procedures is unnecessary because a portion of the mouth and palate is left open to allow for continued growth and development. Final touchup surgeries to help with the appearance of scars may be done later in adolescence or adulthood, but treatment should be complete by the time the patient reaches skeletal maturity, typically around the age of 18. 

Craniofacial Anomalies 

Anomaly is a medical definition meaning “irregular” or “different from what is standard.” Craniofacial anomalies are deformities that affect the growth of the mouth, jaws, face, skull, and other related structures. These abnormalities are grouped into two categories:

Congenital. These anomalies generally present at birth or in utero and are due to a particular combination of genes that cause mutations. Folic acid deficiency in the mother during pregnancy has also been linked to these anomalies.  

Acquired. Trauma, disease, or surgeries can cause acquired craniofacial deformities.  

The structures of facial anatomy are very complicated and anomalies can have remarkable effects on sight, hearing, breathing, the ability to chew, swallow, and even brain development. Both congenital and acquired anomalies can be treated with surgical and non-surgical interventions. 

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons like the team at Alfi Oral, Dental Implant & Facial Surgery are experts in the maxillofacial regions of the head, neck, face, and jaw with years of surgical training. After a thorough exam and consultation we will take 3D scans to help determine the best treatment plan to improve oral function and normalize your appearance for a bright and confident future. 

Treatment for Craniofacial Anomalies 

Treatment for craniofacial anomalies will depend on the severity of the individual condition. There are minimally invasive treatment options and therapies available for mild cases of congenital and acquired craniofacial anomalies, and we will make every effort to explore those options before surgery is recommended. Sometimes, surgery is the only way to effectively correct the physical formation of the skull and facial bones. The best surgeons for these conditions are specially trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

If your child’s deformity fails to improve with minimally invasive treatments, or you have been recommended to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Early intervention is essential to ensure that your child has the full scope of available treatment options to help with proper growth and development. Our doctors will evaluate you or your child’s condition and develop a personalized treatment plan that delivers the most optimal outcome for the present and the future. 

Types of Anesthesia

There are a variety of anesthesia and sedation options available at our practice.

Reconstructive Surgery 

Reconstructive surgery may be recommended to fully correct a craniofacial anomaly resulting from a birth defect, injury, trauma, or disease. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons actively participate in research and developing medical advancements to improve treatment options and provide patients with superior outcomes. Dr. David Alfi and Dr. Abdullahi Hassan are experienced and passionate about treating these complicated cases. 

They will work together with a team of experts to provide a comprehensive treatment plan depending on the patient’s specific needs. Care will be discussed and planned among the team and continue long-term to ensure optimal results. Innovative technologies like 3D scanning and virtual surgical planning create detailed guides for exact execution. Patients can expect to heal faster and benefit from dramatic aesthetic outcomes.

The Leading Oral and Facial Surgery Experts

We are dedicated to serving our patients and community with a higher level of expertise and better clinical outcomes. Experience the difference at Alfi Oral, Dental Implant & Facial Surgery with a team of compassionate experts you can trust.