Facial and Skull Deformities
Fibrous dysplasia (FD) is an uncommon bone disease characterized by areas of abnormal growth (lesions). Bone-forming cells fail to mature, and instead produce an excess of connective tissue that takes the place of bone. Fibrous dysplasia is not hereditary; it is caused by a gene mutation while the child is developing in the womb.
FD can occur in any bone. The skull is frequently affected, as are legs, arms, and ribs. Of patients who have FD in only one site, almost half have craniofacial FD, affecting the skull, jaw, or facial bones. Generally, fibrous dysplasia doesn’t impact the vital structures in the skull — blood vessels, brain, or nerves. Complications for vision and hearing are rare.
However, over time, FD can change the shape of the face or skull and cause pain. Surgery may be done to relieve the pressure of a lesion on a nerve or to correct a deformity.
Hemifacial Microsomia (HFM)
Hemifacial microsomia is a birth defect that affects the development of the lower half of the face, usually the mouth, the ears, and the lower jaw. In most cases, hemifacial microsomia occurs on one side of the face. If it’s severe, HFM may cause breathing problems due to obstruction of the windpipe. It is the second most common birth defect of the face, after cleft lip and cleft palate.
Albert Woo, MD, and Petra Klinge, MD, collaborated on surgery to treat a three-month-old infant's skull malformation. Today, Grayson is a happy, healthy toddler.