Research & Innovation
The physicians in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Craniofacial Anomalies Program are committed to engaging in basic science and translational research that shapes widespread understanding of—and treatments for—deformities of the head and facial bones. Our clinicians are searching for new insights into:
- how and why craniofacial anomalies occur
- what role genetics play in the development of certain deformities
- what surgical treatments are most effective in removing and reducing craniofacial anomalies and helping children lead healthy, fulfilling lives
Our Craniofacial Anomalies Program physicians—who are also members of the Harvard Medical School faculty—conduct ongoing research in Children’s laboratories. They also collaborate with scientists at Boston's universities, other biomedical facilities and fellow leading medical centers.
Faster healing, fewer complications
Originally used in orthopedic surgery to repair limb length discrepancies, distraction osteogenesisfor treatment of facial skeleton deformities has gradually gained acceptance, and according to Bonnie Padwa, MD, DMD, chief of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Programat Boston Children's, it has revolutionized the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
The department sometimes uses DO to correct severe micrognathia (undersized jaw) seen in patients with Robin Sequence, Treacher Collinsand Nager Syndromes. Enlargement of the lower jaw brings the tongue forward, preventing it from obstructing the upper airway.
Learn more about distraction osteogenesis.