The Field In
Cleft & CranioFacial Surgery
By Larry A. Sargent, MD,FACS, FAAP
Craniofacial Surgery offers new hope and promise to many patients with facial deformities. The Craniofacial Surgeon works with a dedicated, organized team of professionals of which each member has a genuine interest in evaluating and treating these types of deformities. The team approach remains standard care for evaluation; however, the ultimate responsibility is with the Craniofacial Surgeon for a choice of operation and the final success or failure dependent on his skill, experience, and judgment. I feel, to continue to maintain this level of expertise, the Craniofacial Surgeon must devote the majority of his practice to the treatment of these types of problems. Adequate volumes of patients are necessary to maintain this expertise, which enhances safety and ensures that optimum results are obtained. The specialized care and support facilities of a major medical center and children’s hospital are also mandatory. I feel these are the criteria which yield the best results.
This site is organized like a monograph, using my patients to illustrate current surgical techniques that I use on a regular basis to treat various craniofacial deformities. It strongly reflects my comprehensive, coordinated treatment plan. In putting together this material, I had several goals in mind. First was to educate health professionals about the new and rapidly growing field of Craniofacial Surgery. Second, was to provide a reference for patients and their families concerning treatments that are available and the type of results that might be expected. And finally, to reflect my own experience and philosophy as related to the treatment of these complex problems.
Providing informative material on craniofacial deformities ultimately results in better patient care. As the primary care physician and the public become aware of what this specialized area of plastic surgery has to offer, expectations will and should continue to rise. It is not enough to correct a deformity; the ultimate goal should be to create an attractive face. This requires a thorough appreciation of facial aesthetics and the constant desire to strive toward perfection.
Craniofacial Surgery is a unique field in Plastic Surgery that at its best blends technical skill with artistic creativity. This type of facial reconstruction is often very hard and tiring work involving long operations, demanding a certain dedication from the surgeon. However, the treatment of these complex problems is both challenging and rewarding. Correcting a facial deformity can very often change a person’s entire outlook on life, giving them a new self-esteem and a second chance. As this new field of surgery grows with the advances of technology and surgical techniques, there should always be that unfatigable desire that pushes one to continually strive fro the best results possible for each patient. I feel this is and will continue to be my philosophy.