Craniofacial Surgery

Craniofacial surgery is a plastic surgery discipline covering cranium, face and orbit (eyeball cavity). Surgeons dealing with craniofacial surgery are specialized on correction of congenital cranial deformities or subsequently acquired posttraumatic or post-tumor surgery deformities and to reconstruct the deficiencies. Plastic surgery specialists dealing with craniofacial surgery often enter into cooperation with brain surgery specialists or orthodontists.

Craniosynostosis surgery: One or more of “suture” zones where cranial bones contact each other and which ensure growth of bones may be lacking in some cases. This is called craniosynostosis. It is seen in one of every 2200 live births. Cranium cannot grow vertically to this suture and continues its growth parallel to it. This results in various different cranial shape disorders. These disorders are publicly named as “tower head, hammer head or flattened head”. As the skull cannot grow normally, brain tissue may also be exposed to various different pressures, and vision problems and mental problems may develop. Craniofacial surgery aims not only to correct the malformations in cranium, but also to prevent the probable future vision and mental problems.
Facial cleft surgery: Face and mouth zone is formed by combination of various bones and soft tissues during embryologic (mother’s womb) development. Non-combination of these tissues at various different stages and quantities cause clefts on face. Most common clefts are lip and palate clefts. In addition, clefts of upper lip, nose, orbit, forehead and skull, and mandibular (lower jawbone) zones containing various different degrees of skin, soft tissue and bone tissue may develop. Facial cleft surgery deals with correction of these deformities. Beside repair of skin tissue, bone tissue transplantation from another zone may also be required.

Correction of posttraumatic deformities: Skin and/or bone losses occurring in cranial zone due to traffic accidents, firearm injuries and other traumas are repaired by various different surgical methods. Bone deficiencies may be repaired by cranial or another zone bones, or by such extracorporeal materials as titanium plates, and alloplastic materials (medpor, etc.).

Repair of post-tumor surgery defects and deformities: Soft tissue and bone deficiencies emerging as a result of cranial and facial tumors are reconstructed by various different methods. Tissue transplantation may also be performed by microsurgery methods.

Orthognatic surgery: Surgery discipline dealing with follow-up and treatment of lower and upper jawbone deformities. It partially deals also with aesthetic maxillary surgery. It is a treatment and surgery method applied together with orthodontist.

Distraction osteogenesis: A surgery method applying the principle of elongation and growth of bone tissue by using an implanted tool if and when bone is not adequately developed in deformities in craniofacial bones. It has various applications on mid-face zone, mandibular, palate and cranial zones.

Orbital hypertelorism surgery: Increase of distance between orbits (eyeball cavities) is called hypertelorism. It may be seen in various syndromic diseases, encephalocele, dermoid cysts and tumors. Craniofacial surgery deals with correction of hypertelorism.

Surgery of craniofacial syndrome patients: In some cases such as Apert syndrome, Crouzon syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Pierre Robin syndrome and craniofacial microsomy, a series of deformities may develop in the patient’s face and skull. These deformities require application of different approaches for various problems, as a part of craniofacial surgery discipline.

Hemifacial atrophy (Romberg disease) surgery: A disease characterized by atrophy (regression and downsizing of tissues) affecting unilateral facial skin, soft tissue, muscular and rarely bone tissue in 95% of patients. Purpose of surgery is to provide a more aesthetic symmetry.