Our commitment to keeping you safe

We have never taken for granted the sacred trust you place in us to care for your child, and today we are more grateful than ever for that privilege. To learn about all the ways we are working to keep you, your family and our team members safe, visit our COVID-19 updates page.

Pediatric Hemifacial Microsomia

Children with hemifacial microsomia have a lower half of one side of the face that is underdeveloped and does not grow normally.

What is Pediatric Hemifacial Microsomia ?

Hemifacial microsomia is a congenital (present at birth) condition in which the lower half of one side of the face is underdeveloped and does not grow normally. The second most common facial birth defect after cleft lip or palate, hemifacial microsomia always affects the development of the ear and mandible (jaw).

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Hemifacial Microsomia ?

Symptoms at birth

Signs and symptoms of this condition range in severity. Symptoms that appear when the baby is born include:

  • Abnormally shaped or missing ear
  • Crooked jaw
  • Facial features that appear smaller on one half of the face
  • Flattened forehead or cheekbone
  • Slightly smaller jaw on one side of the face
  • Skin tag in front of the ear
  • Small and underdeveloped eyes
  • Unequal cheek fullness

Later symptoms

As a child with hemifacial microsomia grows and develops, he or she may exhibit some or all of the following:

  • Hearing problems
  • Misaligned or overcrowded teeth
  • Skin tags in front of the ear or on the face
  • Vision problems
  • Weakness in muscle movement on the affected side

What are the causes of Pediatric Hemifacial Microsomia ?

Researchers believe that hemifacial microsomia is caused by a disturbance of the blood supply to the fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy. The reason for the disturbance is unknown.