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Expertise in Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery

Children's facial abnormalities and injuries require special attention. A child's facial structure is continuously forming so future growth is impacted by the healing and recovery process after surgery. Both routine and more complex surgical repairs require expert surgical skills to help ensure that your child’s growth follows normal and expected patterns.

At Arkansas Children’s, our experts in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery provide compassionate and comprehensive surgical care for a range of craniofacial issues for children of all ages. Pediatric plastic surgeons typically have a minimum of 3 years of plastic surgery training, of which approximately 25% is devoted entirely to cleft, craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery. Moreover, the plastic surgeons at Arkansas Children's have completed an additional year of specialty training in exclusively cleft and craniofacial surgery. 

Our nationally renowned surgeons work in partnership with our pediatric surgical team and other pediatric specialists to provide advanced clinical care in an effective and caring manner. Our multidisciplinary Craniofacial team is nationally recognized for meeting the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) standards of care.

Expert Diagnosis, even in Utero, Leads to Improved Outcomes

For many craniofacial abnormalities, an expert diagnosis can be made in utero so a treatment plan can be developed before birth. A prenatal visit is greatly encouraged as meeting the surgeon along with the other team members helps to establish the relationship with the family and alleviates anxiety. Specialists that will be a part of the multidisciplinary visit include the craniofacial plastic surgeon, geneticist, otolaryngologist, ophthalmologist, orthodontist, dentist, speech therapist, and nutritionist – all of whom will be a part of your child’s care. You will also meet the specialty nurse and physician assistant on the team who help provide continuity through the entire outpatient and surgical experience. 

Multidisciplinary Craniofacial Team Offers Expert and Compassionate Care

This team is the only inter-disciplinary ACPA approved team, in the State of Arkansas. Craniofacial surgery involves many of the skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities that result from either birth or trauma.  The goal of the Craniofacial Plastic Surgeon is to utilize knowledge of the facial skeleton and soft tissues to improve both form & function. Our surgical team adheres to the guidelines and mission of the American Society of Craniofacial Surgery.

Although the types of facial differences seen in patients with conditions like hemifacial microsomia, Crouzon's syndrome, Pfieffer's or Apert's are not new, the way we treat these patients was revolutionized only in the last 50 years, under the direction of Dr. Paul Tessier, a French plastic surgeon, considered the founding father of craniofacial surgery. Often working in conjunction with neurosurgeons, we can treat a wide array of conditions related to birth defects and those acquired from trauma using the craniofacial techniques of fronto-orbito advancement, cranial vault remodeling and distraction, absorbable plate fixation and virtual surgery planning. 

Craniosynostosis is one of the most common disorders we treat at Arkansas Children's, with over 60 new cases per year including both syndromic and non-syndromic craniosynostosis. Our experienced team also treats children with craniosynostosis who have additional complex medical issues such as congenital heart defects, Tessier facial clefts, hydrocephalus with a shunt, and Chiari malformations.   We are now offering minimally invasive (or endoscope assisted) treatment of craniosynostosis in selected patients. 

Between 7,000 - 10,000 newborns and children are diagnosed annually with craniofacial disorders. Not only are these anomalies worrisome for parents, but they can disrupt a child’s normal development, including their ability to achieve normal brain development, be active, breathe, eat, laugh, suck, and swallow. 

Because every patient is unique, our highly-skilled plastic surgeons offer customized care in a multidisciplinary setting. This means before we prescribe a course of treatment, each patient’s case is thoroughly reviewed by a team of pediatric physicians across numerous specialties.

Contact Us for More Information or Referrals

If you have clinically related questions or questions about referrals, please contact one of our team members, including:

  • Sagar Mehta, Director of Craniofacial Team, Pediatric Plastic Surgeon, at 501-364-2344
  • Samantha Snavely, Pediatric Plastic Surgery/Craniofacial Physician Assistant, at 501-364-2914
  • Kumar Patel, Physician Assistant, at 501-364-7207 or kmpatel@uams.edu
  • Tammy Roberson, Specialty Plastic Surgery Nurse, at 501-364-1958 or robersonTL@archildrens.org