Pediatric Surgery Procedures

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At The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, we employ a team of experienced, specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeons who offer a number of effective procedures specifically designed for children. Our doctors can improve a range of conditions, including cleft lip and palate, congenital lesions and hemangiomas, microtia, craniosynostosis, and the appearance of prominent ears. Our entire team is dedicated to providing your child with the best possible care and results that look natural. We firmly believe that early treatment can go a long way toward ensuring that the health and self-esteem of your child are not affected by conditions or injuries suffered in infancy.

Please contact The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for more information on our Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive surgery procedures, or to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.

Laceration Repair (Stitches)

Innovations in wound repair have made it possible to provide stitches that result in very minimal visible scarring. At the OSU Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our doctors are very skillful at suturing, understanding how important it is for patients that any residual scarring is as light as possible. We can provide your child with expert stitching after surgical procedures or injuries.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Thousands of children all over the world are born each year with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, a condition characterized by the failure of the lip and palate to properly fuse during pregnancy. A cleft lip can be so small as to be virtually unnoticeable, or it can extend all the way up to the nose. A cleft palate can involve both the hard and soft sides of the palate and leave an opening all the way to the nasal cavity.

While cleft lip and palate conditions are typically isolated birth defects, there are some instances where they may be linked to other syndromes, including Velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS), Pierre Robin Sequence, and Sticklers syndrome. Our reconstructive surgeons at the OSU Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are extensively trained and experienced with cleft lip and palate procedures. We typically repair cleft lips when the child is three to four months old, and palates at about 9 to 12 months of age. Cleft lip and palate repair is a very commonly performed procedure and can effectively restore both form and function to the lip and palate.

Congenital Lesions / Hemangiomas

Hemangiomas and congenital lesions are a very common condition in infants, and often affect the head and neck. They are composed of capillaries that develop into benign or malignant vascular tumors. Hemangiomas usually appear within a month after delivery, and grow larger over the next year to 18 months. Although hemangiomas can grow on internal organ or under the skin, they typically appear as visible lesions on the outer skin layers. There are a variety of treatments that can effectively eliminate hemangiomas, including steroids and surgical excision. Specific treatment options will depend on the size, location, and growth rate of the hemangioma. If you believe your child has a congenital lesion or hemangioma, it is very important to have the condition examined by a doctor as quickly as possible.


Many children are affected by ears that appear too large or protrude a bit too far from the sides of the head. This can be the cause of a number of insecurities as they grow older, and may make them feel self-conscious about the way they look. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the OSU Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery can perform otoplasty (ear pinning surgery) to help your child reduce the appearance of prominent ears. Our doctors can perform this procedure once the ear cartilage has matured, typically between the ages of five and nine. Otoplasty usually involves small incisions created on the back side of the ear. The cartilage is re-shaped and bent back toward the head, ultimately giving the ears a more proportionate and balanced appearance while reducing their prominence. The entire procedure takes about two hours to complete on an outpatient basis. Although the recovery process from otoplasty is often minimal, a special headband will need to be worn for several weeks after surgery to ensure proper healing.


One in every eight-to-ten thousand infants will be born with microtia, a congenital deformity that affects the outer ear. Also known as “small or absent ear,” microtia is characterized by smallness or underdevelopment of one or both ears. Grade III microtia is the most common type of the condition, and can be treated between the ages of five and nine, typically when the ears have reached full maturity. Over a three-stage process, our reconstructive surgeons will rebuild the ear using a bone graft taken from the rib cage. Microtia treatment is designed to result in a new ear that looks very natural and in balanced proportion with the other ear and the overall shape of the head.


In some infants, there is a premature fusion of cranial sutures that ultimately prevent the skull and brain from growing normally. This condition is called craniosynostosis, and can be associated with Crouzon, Apert, Pfeiffer, and other syndromes. Craniosynostosis can also manifest as an isolated condition. Considered a birth defect, this condition can cause severe and debilitating health issues, including developmental delay, deformity in the skull, intracranial pressure, and visual impairment. Our doctors at OSU work in a team environment with specialists in an array of surgical and medical fields, all with the goal of restoring the shape of your child’s skull and reducing the effects of craniosynostosis and alleviating pressure on the skull.