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Craniofacial Surgery

Awarded the national healthcare assignment by the National Board of Health and Welfare, the internationally recognized Craniofacial Unit welcomes patients from all of Sweden as well as other countries.   

The unit has a long and well-documented history of independently treating all types of craniofacial deformities in children. As far back as the early 1970s, these activities were introduced by Professor Bengt Johansson in collaboration with Professor Paul Tessier. The tradition of research in parallel with the clinical work has given the Craniofacial Unit a first-rate reputation among clinics throughout the world.  

Today the craniofacial surgery team offers an entire spectrum of treatments for congenital malformations, craniofacial tumours and trauma. The unit handles patients with: 

  • Simple craniosynostosis and craniofacial dysostosis (Crouzon, Apert, Saethre-Chotzen, Pfeiffer, Muencke and others) 
  • Other syndromes or anomalies like Treacher-Collins syndrome, Binder syndrome, hemifacial microsomia, facial clefts and frontonasal dysplasia  
  • Both benign and malignant tumours as well as congenital growths such as neurofibromatosis, fibrous dysplasia, dermoid cysts and vascular malformations  
  • Primary and secondary craniofacial trauma. 

The overriding aim is to enhance surgical results, and if indicated minimally invasive surgeries are advocated. 

The multidisciplinary team performs about 150 intracranial operations a year. They often get to follow the patients up to adulthood and sometimes beyond.  

Get to know the team 

Dr. Peter Tarnow  

MD, PhD, Chairman of the Craniofacial Surgery Section at Sahlgrenska University Hospital 

“The medical profession goes back a long way in my family and I have always had an interest in medicine. The craftsmanship of surgery attracted me and I decided to specialize in plastic surgery as I found it to be a very innovative and fascinating field.” 

Since the Craniofacial Surgery Section has been considered a department of eminence for a long time, Sahlgrenska University Hospital has had the opportunity to treat a large number of patients. The extensive personal records kept by the Swedish government have made it possible to keep track of patients and conduct longitudinal follow up-work, thereby providing information necessary to constantly refine treatments and related research. 

“Paul Tessier, based in Paris, France, was the founding father of craniofacial surgery. One of his adepts was Bengt Johansson, who brought the knowledge to Gothenburg and passed it on to Professor Claus Lauritzen who was my predecessor at the department,” says Dr. Tarnow.

Updated: 2021-10-20 09:34