Craniofacial microsomia (CFM) is a condition that presents in a variety of ways. It varies in severity but it is generally a complex condition affecting appearance and function. It is a broad diagnosis and includes conditions called hemifacial microsomia, Goldenhar syndrome, lateral facial dysplasia, first and second bronchial arch syndrome, oculo-auriculo-vertebral sequence and isolated microtia. Most children with CFM have at least one small, misshapen or missing external ear. There may be skin tags in front of the ear. Hearing loss is common. Some parts of the face may be smaller, usually the jaw or cheeks. Eyes can have small notches or dermoids (small cysts). Often one side of the face is more affected than the other.
The cleft/craniofacial team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago includes the core specialists required to treat CFM, including a craniofacial surgeon, otolaryngologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, pediatric dentist, orthodontist, nurse practitioner, social worker care manager and psychologist. It also includes the extended care from nursing and technical staff that fully complement the team approach. If your child requires a service outside the broad scope of our cleft/craniofacial team, our social worker care managers and RN care managers are available to help you find a specialist to meet your child’s particular needs.
Specific treatment for CFM will be individualized based on the child’s needs. Some children require surgery to lengthen a jaw, which may require more than one procedure. For children with ear malformations, ear reconstruction is a multi-stage process requiring several surgeries. A child with hearing loss may require a hearing aid while some children require speech therapy or interventions for learning.
The cleft/craniofacial team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago schedules children to be seen by most team specialists in a single day. Although this can be a long day, families have the benefit of coordinated care and our specialists are able to develop a treatment plan while the family is present. After each team appointment, a multidisciplinary team report will be generated that will be available for review by parents and other health care professionals involved with the child’s care in the home community.