The effect of a visible disfigurement can be devastating for a child’s development, self-confidence and self-esteem. If your child needs surgery to fix a deformity caused by a birth defect, injury, illness, or tumor, a pediatric plastic surgeon has the experience and qualifications to provide treatment.

At UC Davis Children’s Hospital, our pediatric plastic surgery physicians and staff play vital roles in correcting facial and other disfigurements for neonates, infants, and children — along with teens and some adults — with congenital disorders. Surgeons also work with the hospital’s trauma unit to help kids who have been victims of serious injuries.

UC Davis pediatric plastic surgeons provide treatment for:

  • Birth defects of the face and skull (cleft lip and palate, misshapen skull)
  • Birth defects of the ear (protruding or absent ear)
  • Birth defects of the chest and limbs (misshapen breasts, webbed fingers)
  • Hand surgery for such congenital conditions as absent or extra digits or for repair of tendons, nerves, and fractures
  • Injuries to the head, face, hands, arms, and legs
  • Nasal deformity, congenital or traumatic, and rhinoplasty
  • Birthmarks and scars
  • Blood vessel malformations that affect the arteries, the veins, and the lymphatics
  • Breast or chest abnormalities
  • Facial paralysis
  • Jaw deformities
  • Major skin and/or soft tissue defects
  • Reconstructive surgery of burn deformities
  • Tumors of the head and neck

Our team

The birth of a child with cleft lip, cleft palate, or other anomalies involving a child’s head or face is understandably an emotional challenge for parents. The good news is that many such anomalies can be improved dramatically. The UC Davis Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial Reconstruction program offers comprehensive, coordinated care to patients with cleft lip, cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies. The physicians and specialists of our interdisciplinary team provide high quality care to patients, as well as ongoing support to their families.

UC Davis medical students have special opportunities to learn about pediatric plastic surgery. The UC Davis Department of Surgery Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency training program, for instance, is unique in its inclusion of pediatric plastic surgery as an integral part of its curriculum. It provides residents with extensive exposure to clinical plastic surgery, including working with plastic surgery faculty members as they perform pediatric, craniofacial, and complex burn reconstructions. They rotate through the Shriners Hospital Service, which provides them with in-depth experience with pediatric burn reconstruction and plastic surgery. The Hand Service gives them concentrated exposure to hand surgery, with an emphasis on complex congenital hand problems. 

Key UC Davis Children’s Hospital pediatric plastic surgery team members include Assistant Professor David Sahar, who has clinical interests in the areas of general plastic and reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, and cosmetic surgery. In 2013, he received accolades and wide media coverage for his successful reconstruction of the face of a young teen boy who had been viciously mauled by a pit bull.

Associate Professor Granger B. Wong, who is both a dentist and M.D., has a distinct perspective on managing congenital anomalies. His clinical practice includes pediatric plastic surgery, particularly surgery to correct such congenital craniofacial anomalies as cleft lip and palate.