Our Plastic Surgery team provides evaluation and treatment for infants, children and teens whose growing bodies need repair or reconstruction for a wide variety of reasons. Some may be present when your child is born. Others, such as scars, may come later. Seattle Children’s plastic surgeons work closely with medical professionals in the Craniofacial Center and Vascular Anomalies program. We use a team approach to treat your child when these conditions affect how they look and how their body works. Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the nation, particularly in treating disorders that involve your child's face, neck and skin.
Conditions We Treat
We see patients with many conditions, including:
Maxillofacial trauma, sometimes called facial trauma, is any injury to the jaw or face, including the cheekbones, nose and the bones around the eyes. Our craniofacial fellowship trained plastic surgeons treat these injuries as soon as they occur. We also treat scars and other problems that occur as a result of previous injuries. Children who need emergency care — for example, right after injuries during sports, falls or auto accidents — should go to the Emergency Department.
Our surgeons are skilled at treating problems that involve your child's face. These may affect the look of the face, the way the face works or both. For example, we see children whose noses look abnormal or have problems with the structure inside, children whose jaws do not line up correctly, and children whose ears stick out or are very large.
Tumors are abnormal growths of tissue. Although they can be a sign of cancer (malignant tumors), most are not a sign of cancer (benign tumors). There are many types of growths that occur on the skin, or are felt underneath the skin. Some need surgery to remove them if they cause problems with how your child's body works or with how your child looks. For example, some birthmarks, moles or cysts may need to be removed.
A child with facial paralysis may have an inability to move one part, or in some cases, the entire face. This can result in distortion of facial expressions, proper mouth closure, pronunciation of words, symmetrical smiling, or closing of the eyelids. Our surgeons have expanded the services offered by the Division of Plastic Surgery to include microsurgical facial reanimation surgeries for patients with facial paralysis and soft tissue augmentation.
A hemangioma is a skin abnormality. There are different kinds - some look red and are in the top skin layers. Some look blue and are deeper in the skin. A combination of these abnormalities is called "mixed." Hemangiomas may fade over the years. While some hemangiomas require no treatment, others can cause problems with vision, breathing and feeding. The plastic surgery clinic will discuss surgical options for the treatment of hemangiomas that are causing problems or do not fade.
A brachial plexus palsy happens when the nerves of the brachial plexus have been damaged. This set of nerves controls the arm muscles. Brachial plexus palsies usually happen because of a stretch injury to a child's head, neck and shoulder during birth or because of an accident. Seattle Children's has a special Brachial Plexus Clinic — the only comprehensive clinic in the Northwest for children with this condition.
Gender-affirming surgery is an option for people who have discomfort with their assigned sex, expected roles of their assigned gender or their body (gender dysphoria). Our plastic surgeons offer gender-affirming surgery for teens and young adults who meet requirements for this type of care, such as having medical and mental health letters of support. Procedures may include facial surgery, top surgery (breast/chest) and bottom surgery (genitals). Read more.
Paying for Care
Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.