The word craniofacial is derived from the word cranio, referring to the skull or cranium, and facial, referring to the face. Anomaly is the a medical term meaning "irregularity" or "different from normal." Craniofacial anomalies (CFA) are a group of deformities involving the growth of the head and facial bones. These anomalies are congenital (present at birth) and vary in type and severity.
Experts agree that many factors contribute to the development of craniofacial anomalies. Some craniofacial anomalies are a result of genetic mutations (multiple genes are inherited from both parents). Other craniofacial anomalies may be a result of environmental factors, which scientists do not completely understand.
Research studies continue to focus on the normal gene and how a genetic mutation results in different anomalies. New methods of gene therapy are currently being developed.
Over the past several years, plastic and craniofacial surgeons have developed new surgical techniques and interventions for the care of the child with a craniofacial anomaly.
Anatomy of the newborn skull
Overview of craniofacial anomalies
The craniofacial team
Cleft lip/cleft palate