Craniofacial surgery is a corrective surgical procedure for deformities of bones in the face and skull. Dr. Robert Morin specializes in craniofacial surgery for both children and adults with congenital or acquired deformities. Congenital deformities are present at birth and can sometime be detected during pregnancy through an ultrasound. Often children with congenital disorder undergo craniofacial surgery as soon as a deformity is detected. Patients with acquired deformities usually received them through traumatic facial injury.
Whether it is congenital or acquired, Dr. Morin uses his years of experience to perform life changing craniofacial surgeries. His philosophy to craniofacial surgery is to reconstruct the bone to restore functionality and aesthetic appeal. His most common craniofacial surgeries include craniosynostosis, bone grafting, facial fracture, maxillofacial surgery.
Bone grafting is similar in concept to fat grafting, in that, bone is taken from one area of the body and is securely placed into another area of the body in order to correct a deformity. Bone grafting is commonly used in patients with cleft lips and palates in order to reconstruct their upper jaw. Other uses include reconstructing facial defects following trauma or cancer resection.
Bone is an excellent material to use when performing craniofacial surgery. It is strong and has the benefit of naturally becoming incorporated into the defect in which it is placed. The use of a patient’s own bone is usually preferred to the use of artificial material in craniofacial reconstruction due to a lower risk of potential complications.
Injuries to the face or head often result following motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults or sports-related trauma. If the force of the trauma is severe enough, facial bones can be broken. Broken bones in the face have the potential to impair a patient’s vision and their ability to chew, speak or even breathe. In addition, facial bone fractures can lead to obvious deformities that can cause significant problems if they are not repaired.
Facial bone fractures are usually diagnosed using a CT scan. If the bones are found to be significantly out of position then surgery is usually recommended. It is important that facial bone surgery only be performed by a surgeon with significant training in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery. If facial bones are not repositioned properly, significant functional and aesthetic deformities can result.
Maxillofacial surgery involves the treatment of deformities that involve the relationship between the upper and lower jaws (maxilla and mandible). In order to effectively chew, the upper and lower teeth need to align properly. In several congenital disorders, the relationship of the teeth (occlusion) is abnormal. Maxillofacial surgery can be used to adjust the position of both the mandible and the maxilla in order to achieve proper occlusion. When the maxilla is repositioned, the procedure is called a LeFort I osteotomy. When the mandible is repositioned, the procedure is called a bilateral sagittal split osteotomy. It is important to work closely with an orthodontist during these procedures as they are the ones who ultimately put the teeth in the proper position. The result of maxillofacial surgery is an improvement in function and a more aesthetically pleasing facial profile.