After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Recognize the clinical presentations of commonly seen craniofacial syndromes. 2. Understand the most serious complications associated with each syndrome. 3. Formulate the best age-appropriate surgical plans.
Craniofacial syndromes fall into two major categories—those associated with craniosynostosis, and those associated with clefts. Each has a different set of potential complications requiring a unique approach for surgical management. Craniosynostosis is a congenital disorder in which one or more of the cranial sutures fuses prematurely. The most common syndromes associated with this condition include Crouzon, Apert, Pfeiffer, Muenke, and Saethre-Chotzen syndromes. Surgical management of these children requires a multidisciplinary approach and close involvement of the family. Operations must take into consideration the growing potential of the bony structures. Common syndromes associated with clefts include Pierre Robin, Treacher Collins, Nager, Binder, and Stickler syndromes. Many of these children have severe airway issues requiring immediate address before operative reconstruction. As with syndromes associated with craniosynostosis, the key to management is a multidisciplinary approach focused on the right timing. The purpose of this article is to review the clinical presentation, care, and treatment of these patients.