When many people hear plastic surgery mentioned, they think of having cosmetic procedures done that help to improve general appearance or reverse damage done during an accident. The fact is that babies may be candidates for these types of procedures. Here are some of the reasons why parents might consider arranging for a procedure in the months after the child is born.
Correcting a Cleft Palate
Children born with cleft palates have a separation of the upper lip and the palate. This condition develops in the womb and results in a lack of separation between the nasal cavity and the mouth. This can make nursing the baby difficult. The condition can also interfere with breathing and make it difficult for the baby to begin learning how to speak. There’s also an increased risk for ear infections and pressure on the ears that could lead to partial or complete deafness.
In this scenario, the plastic surgeon corrects a physical condition that has the potential to undermine the health of the baby. While there are still risks, medical professionals at places like Shriners Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati have developed procedures that help to minimize the possibility of problems during and after the surgery.
Dealing With Vascular Birthmarks
Birthmarks are discolored areas of the skin. Some will fade over time while others will become more pronounced in size, color, and texture. Since birthmarks can occur anywhere on the body, parents may choose to talk with a medical professional and see what can be done.
Many parents feel no action is needed if the birthmark happens to be in an area that is normally covered by clothing. The main concern is when the mark is present on the face, the arms, or the legs. Depending on the size and general appearance, there is sometimes concern that it will become a source of embarrassment and teasing as the baby becomes a child and starts to socialize with other children.
If the mark doesn’t begin to fade and it is on any part of the body that’s normally uncovered, it makes sense to seek medical treatment. Depending on the nature of the mark, it’s possible that using a non-invasive procedure will correct the problem.
The Ethical Aspect of Plastic Surgery
In general, medical professionals discourage parents from seeking plastic surgery for their babies if the issue is primarily cosmetic in nature. That means many surgeons will not perform procedures on babies designed to make their lips fuller or add more definition to the cheeks. At the same time, they will consider procedures that correct physical issues that could affect the baby’s health and possibly lead to emotional issues when the child is old enough to begin developing relationships outside the nuclear family unit.
Remember that surgery of this type is not something that should be taken lightly. Talk with a medical professional to decide what must be done and if the time is right for this type of procedure. With access to the right information, parents will find it easier to make the best choices for their children.