Updated October 9, 2020

Craniofacial Surgery

Ft Worth Craniofacial Procedures

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Emily J. Kirby has specialized fellowship training in craniofacial surgery. She provides surgery for the following conditions.

Cleft Lip

A cleft lip can occur with or without a cleft palate, and there is great variability in the severity of clefts that we see.  Cleft lip repair is performed very early in your child’s life in order to improve his/her ability to eat, breathe, speak, and hear more normally.  The surgery brings the abnormally formed edges of lip tissue together and helps to start reshaping the cleft nasal deformity.
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Cleft Palate

A cleft palate can occur with or without a cleft lip and, much like cleft lips, there is great variability in the severity of clefts that we see.  If your child has both a cleft lip and a cleft palate, the cleft palate repair is performed after the cleft lip repair.  Repair of the palate will help your child develop more normal speech and eat more efficiently while realigning the eustachian tubes for improved function.


Craniosynostosis is the premature closure of one or more spaces between bones (sutures) of the skull, resulting in abnormal head growth and shape.  Surgery to repair this condition is called “cranial vault reconstruction,” and is typically performed with a pediatric neurosurgeon.


Abnormal head shape can result from pressure routinely placed in the same position on an infant’s head.  “Flattened Head Syndrome,” or “Positional/Deformational Plagiocephaly” is more common since the American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that infants sleep on their back.  Although this has greatly decreased the incidence of SIDS, it has increased plagiocephaly.  Some infants are unable to adequately turn their head due to torticollis, or tightening of the neck muscles on one side.  Helmet therapy and/or physical therapy may be recommended for your child.  This is typically not a condition that requires surgery.


Contour irregularities and defects of the skull can be reconstructed during cranioplasty surgery in order to smooth out the head shape.

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