Craniofacial Microsomia

Stanford Children’s Health—which is home to both the Cleft and Craniofacial Center and the Ear Institute—is uniquely equipped to treat craniofacial microsomia and related conditions, such as microtia and ear canal atresia.

Craniofacial microsomia is a birth defect in which part of the face is smaller than it normally would be, often in the face and jaw. Microtia occurs when the outer ear does not fully form and ear canal atresia is an absence of the ear canal. On top of significant aesthetic concerns, patients with craniofacial microsomia also often have trouble breathing, eating, speaking and hearing. They are also very likely to have cleft lip and palate, and many have spine and kidney problems.

Due to the complexity of the muscles, bones and sensory organs of the face, it is vital that patients with craniofacial microsomia have access to a multidisciplinary, coordinated team that can determine and execute the most effective treatment plan. At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, you and your child will have access to some of the world’s leading surgeons; ear, nose and throat specialists; orthodontists; dentists; genetic counselors; and more.

Because there are a wide variety of symptoms for patients with craniofacial microsomia, there are also a wide variety of treatments, including:

• Facial reanimation, in which surgical and non-invasive techniques are used to improve facial paralysis
• Hearing aids
• Jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery)
• Microtia repair surgery
• Speech therapy