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Pediatric Plastic and Cleft Surgery

A pediatric plastic surgery specialist means a plastic surgeon has received additional training in the reconstructive and aesthetic treatment of a child’s appearance, whether the cause is congenital or acquired from an illness or injury. Care of birth differences such as cleft lip or palate is just one such area that a pediatric plastic surgeon is trained to manage. The medical training for this specialty includes:

  • At least 4 years of medical school
  • At least 3 years of residency training in general surgery (or another surgical specialty) and up to 3 years additional training in plastic surgery
  • Additional fellowship training in pediatric plastic surgery


Pediatric plastic surgeons may treat children from birth into young adulthood. Blending reconstructive surgery techniques to correct anatomical differences with aesthetic surgery principles to restore normal appearance is the hallmark of this specialty. Pediatric plastic surgery may involve almost any part of the body depending on the issue(s). Surgical challenges may include birth defects of the face, ears, trunk, or extremities, birthmarks, traumatic injuries, or acquired problems such as scars, cysts, moles, or masses. It is important for a child to see a pediatric plastic surgeon for these issues because children are anatomically and functionally different from adults.

Conditions that a pediatric plastic and cleft surgeon specializing in craniofacial issues may treat might include but is not limited to:

  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Congenital or acquired moles/nevi
  • Dermoid cysts, other soft tissue masses, and lipomas (fatty tumor)
  • Birthmarks
  • Breast anomalies
  • Ear abnormalities
  • Prominent scars
  • Soft tissue injuries including wounds, lacerations, and dog bites
  • Vascular malformations such as hemangiomas or port wine stains

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