All children become ill or are injured at one time or another. Most problems are simple and can be solved by your pediatrician. At times, however, specialized care from a pediatric plastic surgeon may be necessary and make the difference between a fair result and the best result possible. If you believe your child needs this kind of specialized care, request a consultation with a pediatric plastic surgeon: such a specialist is available at nearly every hospital. The Plastic Surgeon Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed this brochure to help you choose a pediatric plastic surgeon, to help you recognize those medical and surgical problems best managed by a pediatric plastic surgeon, and to help you find an appropriate specialist when the need arises. When you choose a pediatric plastic surgeon, you will have peace of mind, knowing that your child is receiving specialized and expert care for a particular problem.
Your child's medical, surgical, and psychological needs are very different from those of an adult. Choosing a pediatric plastic surgeon is therefore, a very important decision. Pediatric plastic surgeons are specially trained to diagnose and treat health problems that affect infants, children, adolescents and young adults. These problems will require programs and techniques that are very different from those used to treat adults.
Specifically, the pediatric plastic surgeon will deal with surgical problems
related to wound healing and to certain childhood injuries, ilnesses and tumors, both superficial
and deep, in various parts of the body. The pediatric plastic surgeon will also be well trained in
anesthetic surgery, the procedures that manage structural problems that affects the child's self-image.
The pediatric plastic surgeon works very closely with your pediatrician and any other specialists that
may be needed to take care of your child's health needs.
Here is a list of some of the problems and ilnesses that are best managed by pediatric plastic surgeons:
cleft lip and palate
facial and jaw deformities
deformities of the nose and ears
hand, arms and legs
benign and malignant tumors of head and neck
benign and malignant tumors of the skin
soft-tissue tumors of the trunk and extremity
extrophy of the bladder
moles, nevi, port wine stains, arteriovenous malformations
Be sure to check the educational background of your surgeon. Well-qualified pediatric plastic surgeons complete a long and specialized education after medical school. As residents, they train in general surgery for three to five years under the guidance of certified specialists. They then complete specialized training in an approved plastic surgery program where they learn the many concepts and techniques of plastic surgery. After this, they may choose to obtain even more specialized training in a particular area of pediatric surgery. Look for physicians who are board certified; this means that they have passed two lengthy and rigorous sets of tests given by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Physicians who have been in practice and have shown proper credentials to their peers are elegible to become speciality fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics in the area of plastic surgery. All of the training and background assures you that your pediatric plastic surgeon is fully trained and able to take care of your child's problems.
The health of your child is very important and you should make sure that you
find the best possible plastic surgeon in your area. Your pediatrician or family practitioner will
be able to recommend a plastic surgeon, especially one who works with children. Your family, friends,
and co-workers may recommend a pediatric plastic surgeon, but it is important that you meet this doctor
and determine his or her credentials. Check with the plastic surgery department of a nearby university or
with the county medical society. You can also obtain information from the Plastic Surgery Section of the
American Academy of Pediatrics. For names of pediatric plastic surgeons in your community, send a self
addressed, stamped envelope to:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Section Plastic Surgery Referral
141 Northwest Point Boulevard
P.O. Box 97D2
Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0927
Please indicate the particular cities or towns about which you need information