Doc You Should Know: Pediatric Plastic Surgeon
Plus eight unexpected times your child might need this specialist
BY RICK MARTUSCELLI
You expect kids to get cuts, scrapes and bruises. But sometimes, a child has a problem that needs care from a doctor who specializes in helping children look like their beautiful selves.
“Children can have scars that prevent skin from growing into an adult-sized body,” says Wellington Davis III, MD, the region’s only dedicated pediatric surgeon with Lehigh Valley Reilly Children's Hospital and LVPG Pediatric Surgical Specialties. “Kids also can have conditions that affect appearance and may cause them to be teased or bullied.
8 Reasons why a child may need a plastic surgeon:
- Trauma results in stitches and scars: Massage techniques and silicone injections can help minimize the appearance of scars on the face or cosmetically sensitive areas such as hands and arms.
- Remove birthmarks, moles or lesions: If an abnormality obstructs vision, a pediatric plastic surgeon can remove it. In other areas, a balloon can be implanted under the abnormality to stretch the skin. When the abnormality is removed, cosmetic repairs are made using the stretched skin.
- Remove dermoid cysts: Although these fluid-filled cysts are present at birth and commonly located on the brow, they're typically not diagnosed until age 2 or later. Pediatric plastic surgeons remove dermoid cysts by making an incision in the eyelid, an inconspicuous area that heals well.
- Skin lesions: A tiny red spot on your child's skin is usually no big deal. Sometimes these skin lesions grow and bleed. When they do, they should be removed.
- Child is teased or bullied for appearance: It often happens to kids who have large ears or boys who have excess breast tissue. “Because these conditions result in bullying, I fight for patients to ensure surgery is covered by insurance,” Davis says.
- Earring is stuck in earlobe: It happens all the time. When earrings are left in too long, the backing erodes the skin and causes it to get stuck.
- Following facial fracture: When fracture causes deformation to the eye socket, surgery is performed to reconstruct the area. If a nose injury causes it to become crooked or hinders breathing, surgery may be needed.
- Wound isn't healing: It may be a problem with blood supply or an infection. A pediatric plastic surgeon can diagnose the cause and recommend treatment.
Other care a pediatric plastic surgeon can provide:
- Remove extra fingers and toes
- Repair cleft lip and palate
- Remodel abnormally shaped skull
Health tip: Did you know many pediatric plastic surgeries are covered by insurance? To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 888-402-LVHN (5846).