With CFM, facial differences range from mild to severe. We tailor treatment to your child’s and family’s needs.
Surgery to repair a cleft of the mouth
Some children with CFM have a cleft along the corner of the mouth. Muscles around their mouth are separated. This causes an abnormally wide mouth (macrostomia) that can make it hard to feed and form sounds for speech.
This can be fixed by surgery that makes a complete ring of muscle around your child’s mouth.
- Surgeons carefully cut into the skin, the muscle and the tissue inside the mouth.
- They use a small zigzag incision. This helps to hide any scars.
- Surgeons use nearby muscles to form a complete ring of muscle around your child’s mouth.
- They also bring the corners of the mouth closer together. This gives the mouth a more normal shape and function.
Facial reanimation for palsy
Some children with CFM have weakness or trouble with movement in the face. This is called facial palsy. It happens because the nerves in the face are not working right.
Often, facial palsy improves in the first few years of life.
If your child has severe problems with facial movement, your child’s team will include specialists from our Facial Reanimation Clinic. They will determine if surgery is likely to improve your child’s facial movement.
Options to improve facial symmetry
In about 65% of people with CFM there are differences in how the 2 sides of their face look (facial asymmetry).
The differences may be reduced by certain surgeries your child may have — such as those that correct problems with the mouth or jaw or improve movement in the face.
If you or your child has concerns about how their face looks, talk to your child’s team. The treatment options depend on your child’s age. They range from counseling to surgery.
Some children with CFM have skin tags, most often in front of their ears. Skin tags are tiny extra pieces of skin. They may have a small narrow stalk connecting the skin bump to the surface of the skin, or they may be attached deeper below the skin. They are painless.
If your child has skin tags, your team will talk with you about whether to remove them.