Hemifacial microsomia (HFM) is a condition in which the tissue on one side of the face is underdeveloped. The deformity in hemifacial microsomia varies greatly in the degree of severity and in the area of the face involved.
In the more severe cases, the following areas are underdeveloped:
- the external and middle ear
- the side of the skull
- the thickness of the cheek tissue
- the upper and lower jaws
- the teeth
- some of the nerves that allow facial movement
In the milder forms, only some of these areas are affected and it's to a lesser degree.
Why should my child see a craniofacial anomalies team?
You may be feeling overwhelmed with your child's diagnosis of hemifacial microsomia. The Craniofacial Anomalies Program at Boston Children's Hospital can help. We've got a full team of specialists who are experts in treating HFM.
- The craniofacial surgeon performs the jaw surgery and ear reconstruction.
- The geneticist counsels you and your child about the recurrence risks of hemifacial microsomia.
- The nurse coordinator acts as a liaison between your family and many specialists and assists in patient education.
- The ophthalmologist evaluates your child's vision and eye movements.
- The orthodontist follows the jaw growth and alignment of teeth to assist the surgeon in an optimal result of jaw surgery.
- The otolaryngologist assesses your child's hearing abnormalities and coordinates middle ear surgery or hearing aids, if needed.
- The speech therapist evaluates your child's speech development and coordinates speech therapy, if necessary.
- The social worker assists you in obtaining resources and referrals in your community.