Oral and facial tumors not only affect your health; if left untreated they can begin to change your facial structure, leading to other health issues. Both benign and malignant tumors change the shape of your face as they affect the bones and soft tissue in your face, which is why you want the best craniofacial surgeons working on your case.

If you find yourself with a facial cyst or tumor, seeking care may not be a high priority because the removal may affect your speech and eating patterns, in addition to being disfiguring. At the Alaska Center For Oral + Facial Surgery, we understand this is a huge concern and staff the best craniofacial surgeons in the country. Join us in today’s post as we take a look at facial tumors and cysts.

Facial Tumors – What Are They?

Like any tumors, facial tumors are clusters of abnormal cells that cause swelling or lesions and can be malignant or benign.

  • Malignant tumors – Tumors that are cancerous
  • Benign tumors – Tumors that are not cancerous

Craniofacial tumors often surface as lumps or in areas with abnormal growth. When left unaddressed they can cause deformities and the shifting of facial structures.

Are there symptoms to look for in facial tumors?

It will largely depend on the type of tumor, but the most common symptoms of a facial tumor are pain, discomfort, displacement of facial features, and physical signs such as lumps and growth. Sometimes tumors can be felt just below the surface of the skin or on the bones. 

What are the different types of facial tumors?

The cause of facial tumors are often unknown, but they do present at birth or develop later on in life. Facial tumors can range in severity, and the most common include:

Neurofibromatosis – These develop as flatish, and sometimes round and protruding, patches that resemble birthmarks that can become large and envelop nerve, skin, and bone tissue. The tissue is generally benign but can cause other health complications. These patches usually grow in a network and have to be removed in a series of surgeries.

Cystic hygromas – This type of tumor can begin as a little bump beneath the skin’s surface that is painless and can be overlooked until it becomes enlarged and swollen. It can result in facial deformities and obstructed airways and sinus cavities.

Fibrous dysplasia – This is a bony tumor that can occur anywhere on bone, and is a slow-growing tumor that can go unnoticed for years. As it grows, it can begin to displace structures. Surgery for fibrous dysplasia is common remove the tumor and affected bone.

Dermoid cysts – Similar to neurofibromatosis, they are usually benign. They’re peculiar in that they’re round and contain mature tissue such as teeth and hair! They will go unnoticed until they begin to cause discomfort.

How are facial tumors addressed?

The most common practice in treating facial tumors involves removing the tumor and facial reconstruction to repair any facial disfigurement caused by the tumor. The overall treatment plan is complete removal of the tumor and any affected areas of the bone. Plastic surgery techniques and skin and bone grafting are all implemented during this procedure.

At AOFS, we have the best facility and craniofacial surgeons on staff for successful and advantageous results. Our rooms were modeled after surgical rooms in the hospital and our surgeons are known for their innovative techniques. Combine both of these aspects with our state-of-the-art technology and you have one of the best craniofacial facilities in the country!

If you suspect or suffer from a facial tumor, know that your course of treatment is a priority for us and we will advocate and explore all options with you.

For more information about how we treat craniofacial tumors, connect with our office today!