RECONSTRUCTIVE

SURGERY

 
CLEFT LIP AND PALATE

A cleft lip and palate is one of the most common facial birth defects, affecting over 200 000 children each year, worldwide. It occurs due to the incomplete formation of the upper lip or roof of the mouth – resulting in an opening or separation. Surgery is mandatory in order to allow for normal speech development, proper feeding and breathing, and to restore normal appearance and function. In some cases, cleft lip and palate may lead to ear infections and hearing loss as well as dental problems. Therefore, the surgery is performed in partnership with other specialists.

What can I expect?

After an initial consultation to evaluate whether it’s a cleft lip or palate or both, surgery is done to correct the cleft in the lip or palate, to improve function and appearance. Most cleft lip and palate require require more than one surgery during childhood and adolescence, depending on the severity of the condition.

More than just a surgery, cleft lip and palate repair offers hope to children and their families.

 
SKIN CANCER

South Africa is known for its sunny weather, majestic beaches and outdoor activities with breathtaking scenery. Unfortunately, this contributes to skin cancer being one of the most common cancers seen in South Africa, especially in Cape Town. While skin cancers can be found anywhere on the body, they usually occur on areas mostly exposed to the sun - such as the face, head and neck.

What can I expect?

There are many ways - surgical and non-surgical - to remove skin cancers, depending on the type and extent of the skin cancer. In the more advanced skin cancers where there has been extensive destruction of tissues – for instance permanent damage to the nose or ear structures - plastic surgical reconstruction of the areas may be required to restore them to their normal appearance. Sometimes, more than one procedure is needed to achieve the best results. You will be advised on this though, based on your individual case.

 

Reconstructive techniques include skin grafts, simple scar revision, restoration of body parts or free flaps to repair the damage.