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The Most Common Craniofacial Anomalies

Most craniofacial anomalies are fairly common and treatable occurrences, with the minority being more severe cases. Keep reading to find out the most common craniofacial anomalies, what causes them, and how they can be fixed.

What are Craniofacial Anomalies?

Craniofacial anomalies are deformities in the growth of the head and facial bones. These abnormalities are present at birth and there are many variations in location and severity. Some craniofacial anomalies can be associated with other anomalies in the body, which can be serious.

Most Common Types of Craniofacial Anomalies

While some rarer cases may be more severe, there are several types of craniofacial anomalies that are more common and treatable. The most frequently seen types include:

  • Cleft lip or palate
    • A separation in the lip or the palate

  • Craniosynostosis
    • Premature closure of the soft spots in an infant’s skull
  • Hemifacial microsomia
    • A condition in which the tissues on one side of the face are underdeveloped
  • Vascular malformation
    • An abnormal growth composed of blood vessels
  • Hemangioma
    • A benign tumor that causes a red birthmark

Causes of Craniofacial Anomalies

Typically, medical professionals agree that there is no single root cause of craniofacial anomalies. There are many factors that may contribute to their development, including:

  • Genetics
    • A child may have received a particular combination of genes from one or both parents that resulted in a craniofacial anomaly
  • Folic acid deficiency
    • Folic acid is a B vitamin that is essential for women to have while pregnant — children that do not get sufficient folic acid in the womb are at higher risk of craniofacial anomalies
  • Environmental 
    • Currently, there is no data that shows a direct correlation between exposures to certain drugs or chemicals and craniofacial anomalies — however, your doctor may still ask you about any prenatal exposures to these substances

Treatment for Craniofacial Anomalies

Treatment for craniofacial anomalies depends on the individual’s condition. If the deformity continues to worsen or not improve, contacting a pediatric neurosurgeon, craniofacial surgeon, or craniofacial anomalies team is the best course of action. There are many different surgeries that can be done to fix these anomalies that are all common and standard procedures.

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Posted by Bill Parris at 9:57 AM
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