What Is Pediatric Plastic Surgery?

This is a common question that we frequently get because most people are unfamiliar with the specialty of pediatric plastic surgery. The obvious answer is that pediatric plastic surgery is plastic surgery performed on children. The real answer is actually much more complex.

Our specialty specifically deals with children who are born with issues related to congenital deformities and those that arise during infancy, childhood, puberty and adolescence. The majority of the deformities occur during development and oftentimes have a genetic basis. These deformities can be something as simple as a skin tag in front of the ear that requires removal, or as complex as a malformation of the facial bones or the bones of the skull that require significant reconstruction.

As a specialty, we take care of all these problems, no matter how small or how big. The challenge with any patient in the world of pediatric plastic surgery is that they’re constantly growing throughout their treatment and this needs to be considered.

Here at Texas Children’s Hospital, we have many specialty clinics that are multidisciplinary. Therefore, we include many doctors and clinicians when it comes to treating these sometimes very complex patients. Some of the multidisciplinary specialty clinics include the Vascular Anomalies Clinic, the Craniofacial and Craniosynostosis Clinic, and the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic.

If you have any questions related to these clinics or if you think your child may have a plastic surgery need, please feel free to comment below or contact our clinic at 832-822-3180.


About Dr. Edward Buchanan, Plastic Surgeon

I am an assistant professor of Plastic Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.

I treat infants, children and teenagers with a wide variety of plastic surgery related conditions. I specialize in pediatric craniofacial surgery, facial fractures, cranial vault remodeling, and midfacial and mandibular distraction.

Posted in Plastic Surgery, Surgery

4 Responses to What Is Pediatric Plastic Surgery?

  1. Courtney says:

    As a parent, I have taken advantage of Texas Children’s skilled pediatric plastic surgeons to stich a facial laceration on my daughter’s face. I post this to let parents know that a pediatric plastic surgeon is available to you even in Texas Children’s ER, and I highly recommend consulting the on-call plastic surgeon if your child is in the ER with a facial laceration or any other wound that causes you concerns in terms of scarring. I am very grateful to the on-call plastic surgeon who stitched my daughter’s wound perfectly leaving a very small scar.

    • Dr. Edward Buchanan, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Edward Buchanan, Plastic Surgeon says:

      We would like to thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience. This helps illuminate some of the services provided by the Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery team here at Texas Children’s Hospital. We strive to help those who have suffered any traumatic injury, especially in aesthetically sensitive areas.

  2. Adrian says:

    I disagree with the above post. My son had a cut on his face and needed stitches. The on call “plastic surgeon” was called and came in, but this was a resident still in training. We asked about having the staff surgeon come in to help, but he said they weren’t available.

    Just as a message to our community – despite paying plastic surgeons to be on call, unless you come in during normal business hours, it is unlikely that a real plastic surgeon will be available for you’re child. It is important that we stress that our children are not here for people in training to practice on, but unfortunately this is the case at Texas Children’s.

    • Dr. Edward Buchanan, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Edward Buchanan, Plastic Surgeon says:

      I appreciate the comment written and think it provides a great opportunity to explain to those in our community how things happen in the emergency room as it relates to plastic surgery procedures. When a child comes to the emergency room and has an injury that the emergency room physicians feel needs a plastic surgery consult to evaluate or close, the first person that gets called is the plastic surgery resident on call. These individuals are currently in training to be Plastic Surgeons. They have been in the medical field for 5-10 years already and learning plastic surgery for the past 3-6 years. They are involved in complex plastic surgery procedures daily, and are highly qualified and skilled at what they are doing. The vast majority of things that come to the emergency room do not need complex plastic surgery, they simply need someone who is adept at handling sensitive tissue in a meticulous fashion, something our residents are more than qualified to take care of. If however, they ever feel they are outside of their comfort zone, or the injury is too complex, they ALWAYS have an attending plastic surgeon as backup for help. There is always an attending plastic surgeon taking call and available to help with any emergency plastic surgery consult. Many times, because the plastic surgery resident is the first person on the scene, having them perform the procedure will expedite the process through the emergency room. If the attending plastic surgeon is required, it will take a bit longer due to transit time. I hope this helps and explains the process more clear.

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