Children require a different approach to adult patients, and should under no circumstances be considered as "small adults". This approach requires special interpersonal skills and experience, as well as clinical alertness, as symptoms are not always expressed as clearly as in adults and may need to be deducted through observation.
Having worked in Birmingham Childrens Hospital for two years, I have a lot of experience in working with children and I particularly enjoy it. I consider this to be a very challenging but at the same time also very rewarding part of my work.
Paediatric patients may present to a plastic surgeon for a number of conditions:
- Skin lesions : moles (naevi), strawberry naevi (haemangiomas), vascular malformations, etc
- Congenital malformations affecting any part of the body
- Congenital hand problems : polydactyly (more fingers/ toes), syndactyly (joined fingers/ toes), thumb abnormalities, accessory digits (small skin tags, usually remnants of an underdeveloped digit)
- Many of these cases can resolve on their own, however early diagnosis will benefit both the patient and their parents.