Pierre Robin sequence is characterized by an underdeveloped lower jaw, a tongue that is located farther back in the throat and sometimes, a cleft palate (an abnormal opening in the roof of the mouth).These malformations can cause your child to experience breathing and feeding difficulties.
If your child is facing this condition, the specialists at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children's Hospital are here to support you, every step of the way.
Treatment for Pierre Robin Sequence
At Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, our team will partner with you to determine the best treatment plan for your child’s specific case.
Mild cases may not require surgical treatment. Instead, your child may need to be positioned on their side or stomach or have a nasopharyngeal airway inserted until a later stage in their development (when their airway has grown and is larger).
Moderate or severe cases often require surgical intervention:
- Mandibular distraction: A device is surgically connected to the lower jaw. Over time, the device brings the jaw and tongue forward and is eventually removed.
- Tongue-lip adhesion: During this procedure, the undersurface of the tongue is connected to the inside of the lower lip to bring the tongue forward in the mouth. This procedure is a less-invasive option than mandibular distraction. If successful, the adhesion is reversed at a later time.
- Tracheostomy: If the other procedures are not successful, or if there is a malformation below the base of the tongue, an incision will be made in the neck to create a direct airway in the trachea (windpipe).
Multidisciplinary Pierre Robin sequence expertise at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital
Children with Pierre Robin sequence require specialized care, including evaluation from neonatologists, pediatric ear, nose and throat specialists, pulmonologists and surgeons.
Our Children’s Hospital offers a specialized team made up of clinicians from each of these specialties. They offer the full range of non-invasive and surgical treatment options and make recommendations based on your child’s specific case. We are also the only hospital in the region with a fellowship-trained craniofacial surgeon (Wellington Davis, MD), allowing us to offer advanced surgical care for this condition within our community.
Our specialists will closely monitor your child during and after their initial treatment, answering any questions you have and helping you navigate additional care if needed.
If your child has a cleft palate, they will also be followed in our Cleft Palate Program throughout their childhood.