Pediatric Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Petersen is passionate about providing reconstructive care to children. He performs a variety of pediatric plastic surgical procedures which are listed below.

Craniofacial Birth Anomalies

As an infant grows the joints of the skull (sutures) allow for expansion and the formation of new bone. Normally, these joints fuse together long after all growth has been completed. However, in some infants the joints can fuse prematurely leading to abnormal shape of the skull and in some cases increased pressure on the brain. This condition is known as Craniosynostosis. Surgical correction is accomplished by removing the fused joint and reshaping the malformed bones of the skull. Depending on the type of correction performed, post-operative molding helmet therapy may be included in treatment. The procedure is usually performed within the infants first year and involves a night or 2 in the pediatric ICU with and a short hospital stay. Dr. Petersen performs this surgery in conjunction with a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

See our page on cleft lip and palate for more details.

Ear Malformations and Protruding Ears

Ear Anomalies can range from ears which protrude too far to under developed ears which can be missing the majority of the external ear structure. A variety of procedures are used to correct these problems. See our page on Ear Pinning for more information.

Birth Marks

“Birth Marks” is a term used to describe an array of lesions that exist on or under the skin and are present at birth. They can be vascular (blood vessel) structures such as hemangiomas and port wine stains or pigment producing cells such as in congenital nevi and Giant Hairy Nevi which have the potential of transforming into malignancy later in life. Treatment often involves surgical removal which can be either a simple one time procedure or a multi-stage process, sometimes requiring tissue and skin expanding techniques.

Removal of Extra Fingers or Toes

Extra digits can often be excised in simple outpatient procedures.

Female Adolescent Breast Asymmetry

When one breast fails to develop it can lead to asymmetry which can affect a young woman’s self-esteem. Various reconstructive techniques can be employed to establish symmetry.


Gynecomastia (males developing female-like breasts) often affects adolescent males but can also occur in adult men as well. There can be many factors contributing to breast development in males. A thorough medical history and physical exam is necessary to look for the underlying cause. Treatment is often a surgical procedure which may range from liposuction alone to removal of excess breast tissue via incisions around the nipple to a combination of liposuction and excision.

Trauma Reconstruction

There are many types of injuries which can happen to children which require reconstructive expertise such as facial lacerations, facial bone fractures, burns, or injuries to the extremities. Dog bites, car accidents, and lawn mowers can be particularly devastating to young children. Dr. Petersen has extensive experience in complex reconstruction for many types of pediatric injuries.

Scar Revisions

When incisions or lacerations heal poorly they can often be revised and “traded” for a more acceptable scar through a variety of techniques. Dr. Petersen can help you decide if your child’s scar has the potential to be improved upon