640 South State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
21 West Clarke AvenueMilford, Delaware 19963
401 North Carter RoadSmyrna, DE 19977
640 S. State StreetDover DE 1990121 West Clarke AvenueMilford DE 19963
301 Jefferson AveMilford, DE 19963
1275 S. State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
Hemifacial microsomia (HFM) is a congenital problem. This means that your child is born with it. In this condition, one side of your baby’s face is underdeveloped (hemi means half). HFM usually only affects one side of the face. Sometimes both sides may be affected.
This condition often happens by chance. It may also run in some families. HFM may be passed on (inherited) in the following ways:
This condition may also occur in children with other chromosome abnormalities. Chromosomes are the structures in our cells that carry our genes. These types of abnormalities often occur by chance.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. The deformities caused by HFM vary. They may range from mild to severe. Different areas of the face may be involved. The following may be underdeveloped in HFM:
In some babies, other parts of the body may also be affected by HFM.
Geneticists often diagnose HFM. A geneticist is a doctor with special training to diagnose and treat conditions passed down in families (genetic condition). Your child’s doctor will look at his or her health history. Your child will also have an exam. Your child’s doctor may also do imaging tests to make the diagnosis.
These tests may include:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
If your child has severe symptoms, he or she may need several surgeries. In this case, your child will be checked by a craniofacial anomalies team. This is a group of doctors who diagnose and treat face defects.
Your child’s treatment may include:
If your child has a mild defect, he or she may not be at risk for complications. Children with more severe defects may be more likely to have issues. These can include hearing loss, eating problems, and trouble with self-image.
Your child may have hearing loss or eating problems. Your child should be under the care a team of craniofacial anomaly experts. This team may include:
HFM support groups can help you and your child. Ask your child’s healthcare provider about support groups in your area.
Call your child’s healthcare provider if your child has any new symptoms. These can include trouble eating or gaining weight.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.