Nationwide Children’s Hospital Expands Plastic Surgery Services; Focuses on Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach

Columbus, OH – When it comes to plastic surgery, the changing of one’s physical appearance is normally just the first step of a long process. Expert surgery is only the beginning, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital recognizes the importance of caring for the whole child. The Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, led by Richard Kirschner, MD, FACS, FAAP, chief of Plastic Surgery, has expanded its services and offers comprehensive care from a multi-disciplinary team for each service to address the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents in need of plastic surgery procedures.

In addition to providing care for general pediatric plastic surgical problems, the enhanced comprehensive services now offered at Nationwide Children’s include the Cleft Lip and Palate Center, the Center for Complex Craniofacial Disorders, the Resonance Disorders Center, the 22q Center (for children diagnosed with 22q deletion syndrome, also known as velocardiofacial or DiGeorge Syndrome), the Hemangioma/Vascular Malformation Program and the Hand, Microsurgery and Brachial Plexus Program.

“The best outcomes that a plastic surgeon can achieve are those that are achieved not in isolation, but as part of a multi-disciplinary health care team,” said Dr. Kirschner, also professor of Clinical Surgery and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Providing children with the best quality of life outcomes demands that we care for the whole child.”

While cleft lip and palate is often believed to occur more frequently in developing countries, this condition is actually the most common birth defect in the United States after congenital heart disease. Nationwide Children’s Cleft Lip and Palate Center offers children and their families’ comprehensive care from a multi-disciplinary team of national recognized clinicians. Led by Dr. Kirschner, the team comprises experts from plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, otolaryngology (ENT), speech-language pathology, nursing, dentistry, social work, audiology, genetics and psychology. This team of medical professionals helps optimize facial appearance, speech, dentofacial development and overall self-concept for children with cleft lip and palate. The Cleft Lip and Palate Center at Nationwide Children’s is recognized as an affiliate team of the American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association (ACPA).

The Center for Complex Craniofacial Disorders, directed by Gregory Pearson, MD, assistant professor of Clinical Plastic Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary care to children born with complex craniofacial differences. Dr. Pearson and his team care for conditions including syndromic and non-syndromic cranisynostosis, deformational plagiocephly, jaw abnormalities, Pierre Robin sequence, hemifacial microsomia and facial trauma.

Nationwide Children’s is also home of the Resonance Disorders Center, the only one of its kind in central Ohio. This program, led by director Adriane Baylis, PhD, CCC-SLP, speech scientist, craniofacial speech pathologist, provides coordinated interdisciplinary diagnostic and treatment services for patients with speech disorders resulting from velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). When VPD is present, the balance of oral and nasal sound energy, known as resonance, in speech is disrupted. VPD causes the child’s speech to sound excessively nasal and can also cause problems with pronunciation. Treatment typically involves surgery and/or speech therapy.

22q deletion syndrome, also known as velocardiofacial or DiGeorge Syndrome, is a genetic disorder that affects one out of every 4,000 live births. 22q deletion syndrome has been linked with multiple physical, developmental and behavioral disorders and has the potential to impact nearly every system in the body. The 22q Center at Nationwide Children’s provides children and their families with access to a multi-disciplinary team of expert clinicians who understand these special needs. Under the joint directorship of Dr. Kirschner, Dr. Baylis and Joan Atkin, MD, FACMG, professor of clinical genetics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, the 22q Center team provides comprehensive individualized diagnostic and management services in Genetics, Cardiology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Speech and Language Pathology, Developmental Pediatrics, Immunology, Neuropsychology, Behavioral Health, Audiology, Otolaryngology, Endocrinology, Hematology, Neurology, Orthopedics and Urology.

Nationwide Children’s also offers a Hemangioma and Vascular Malformations Clinic (HVMC) located in the Outpatient Care Center on the main campus. Led by Gayle Gordillo, MD, associate professor of Surgery and director of Research for The Ohio State University Division of Plastic Surgery, this clinic brings together a highly skilled interdisciplinary team of pediatric specialists to provide coordinated and comprehensive care for patients with vascular anomalies. The team works in partnership with the patient’s primary care physician to focus on their physical and emotional needs.

The Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery also offers the Hand, Microsurgery and Brachial Plexus Program in its line of services. Led by co-directors Maya Spaeth, MD, clinical assistant professor of Plastic Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and James Popp, MD, clinical assistant professor of Orthopedics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, this program uses a multi-disciplinary team approach with collaboration among plastic surgery, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, radiology, pathology and occupational therapy. By incorporating this team of experts, the program provides evidence-based and best-practices outcomes for our patients while focusing on individualized care. The addition of Dr. Spaeth brings new expertise to Nationwide Children’s in the management of congenital hand differences, hand and wrist injuries, brachial plexus reconstruction, facial reanimation and microsurgical reconstruction.

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