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Pediatric Plastic / Reconstructive Surgery

Man giving speech
Man giving speech

Why choose Ochsner Health for pediatric plastic/reconstructive surgery care?

Plastic and reconstructive surgery isn’t just for improving someone’s appearance. It can improve basic aspects of a child’s life, such as eating, talking and getting dressed. Plastic and reconstructive surgery may also help a child feel better about the way they look. Ochsner Children's Hospital offers world-class pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery care for conditions or injuries that affect your child’s appearance or ability to perform daily activities.

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Ochsner Children's Hospital as one of the top 50 children’s hospitals in the United States and as the No. 1 children’s hospital in Louisiana. Our surgeon has the talent, expertise and experience to help kids lead healthier, happier lives.

From the nurse who greets your child before surgery, to the people who say goodbye when you head home, you’re connected with a healthcare team that’s passionate about caring for kids and families. Most plastic/reconstructive surgeries happen at Ochsner Children's Hospital and two affiliated hospitals within a 250-mile radius of New Orleans. When it’s possible to complete visits without being seen in person, we schedule virtual visits with a plastic surgeon to help you avoid unnecessary travel. Find a location near you.

Our highly skilled pediatric plastic surgeon works with other pediatric surgeons to develop treatment plans for the most complex needs. Together, they merge decades of advanced training and combined experience for your child’s health. When it’s time for surgery, pediatric anesthesiologists keep your child comfortable and safe.

We offer minimally invasive procedures such as cranial vault reconstruction for babies diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a condition in which bones in the skull join too early. One such procedure, minimal access strip craniectomy, substantially decreases the likelihood for the need of a blood transfusion and allows babies to go home from the hospital in just two days.

Similarly, infants born with ear deformities can avoid later surgeries when they are treated with an ear molding device within the first few weeks after delivery.

Michael Friel, MD, is an internationally known, double-fellowship-trained, triple-board-certified surgeon who leads the pediatric plastic/reconstructive surgery team and the cleft and craniofacial team. He is one of the region’s most experienced surgeons for cleft lip and palate surgery.

In 2022, Dr. Friel was named one of Louisiana’s top plastic surgeons by Castle Connolly, specifically listed for cleft lip and palate care. Dr. Friel has held prior appointments to the board of directors of the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association, the organization responsible for approving cleft lip and palate care throughout the United States. He publishes and presents on pediatric plastic surgery topics locally, nationally and internationally. He serves as an editor for multiple journals, including Annals of Plastic Surgery, and as peer reviewer for multiple plastic surgery journals.

As a child, Dr. Friel was treated for cleft lip and palate. His personal experience adds an extra layer of empathy for children who share the condition. In addition to treating kids in the United States, Dr. Friel has traveled on numerous global missions for Operation Smile, an organization that gives advanced cleft lip and palate care to kids all over the world.

Our relationship may start with diagnosis before your baby is born or any time before your child turns 18. No matter when we meet, you can trust Dr. Friel to walk your child through diagnosis, plastic/reconstructive surgery and follow-up care.

Dr. Friel works with a range of specialists to coordinate any extra care that contributes to your child’s total health and wellness.

  • Abnormal head shapes caused by conditions such as positional/deformational plagiocephaly, a flat spot on the side or back of a baby’s head; Apert syndrome, a rare genetic condition that can cause deformities in the face, skull, teeth, arms and legs; and Noonan syndrome, a genetic abnormality that can affect the head, skin, heart, muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue.

  • Birthmarks, which can often be removed to improve appearance or because the birthmark interferes with functions, such as breathing, seeing or eating

  • Breast and body image issues, such as the size and shape of the breasts, nose or ears

  • Congenital and pediatric hand conditions, such as trigger finger, a condition that causes a finger to stay in a bent position; polydactyly, an extra finger or toe; or hand injuries

  • Facial conditions, such as misshapen ears, unbalanced features, jaw issues, and cleft lip or cleft palate, a condition that develops during pregnancy when the tissue that forms the lip or palate (the top of the mouth) doesn’t join normally as it should

  • Skin disorders, such as skin tags, moles, cysts, skin lesions and vascular anomalies that can cause masses to form on the surface or beneath the skin

  • Wound care, burns and scars caused by animal bites or accidents

Ochsner Children's Hospital is known as one of Louisiana’s leading sites for pediatric plastic and reconstructive procedures. Here are just a few of the pediatric services we offer:

  • Breast reduction and symmetry procedures

  • Cleft lip or cleft palate repair

  • Cranial vault surgery and midface surgery

  • Ear molding

  • Microsurgery

  • Nerve reconstruction

  • Scar revision


Surgeries that correct congenital (at birth) or developmental conditions of the skull or face are called craniofacial surgery. One example is cranial vault reconstruction to repair craniosynostosis, a congenital condition that can cause the face, eyes, jaw and skull to be misshapen.

Reconstructive surgical procedures improve your child’s ability to live a healthy life, while cosmetic surgery focuses on improvements that change how your child looks. Some procedures make both cosmetic and physical improvements. In fact, these two types of surgery are frequently combined, which is why the two terms are often used interchangeably.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Pediatric Plastic / Reconstructive Surgery

Pediatric Plastic / Reconstructive Surgery Locations

Ochsner Children's Health Center - River Chase
69318 LA-21
Covington, LA 70433
  • Mon–Fri: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Ochsner Health Center for Children - Hattiesburg
421 South 28th Ave. , Suite 110
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Ochsner Health Center - East Mandeville
3235 East Causeway Approach
Mandeville, LA 70448
  • Monday – Friday: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ochsner Children's Hospital
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7