Dr. Marshall Newman, assistant professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, joined the faculty in 2020 after earning a dental degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completing fellowships in cancer/trauma and pediatric cranio-maxillofacial surgery.
1. What drew you to craniofacial surgery?
My heart goes out to patients with craniofacial abnormalities (cleft lip, cleft palate, craniosynostosis, etc.). I wanted to be able to take care of them and figure out how best to treat them. My goal is for them to blend in with any other kid. This is a great place to practice and build a program.
2. How do you ease the minds of parents dealing with a child’s craniofacial defects?
What I mostly want them to know is that these kids generally are otherwise healthy, happy children, and we want to think of them like they would think of any other child. We have to address their problems, but we have a very regimented way to do that with as few surgeries as possible. This experience will be a minor setback. We’ve reached the point where we usually have very predictable outcomes.
3. How has craniofacial surgery evolved over the years?
There’s certainly a push toward minimally invasive treatment, and we have a much greater ability to plan our procedures with computer-aided design. This allows us to make certain movements with the bone that we couldn’t before. Devices like hardware and distractors are also now customized. And we offer multidisciplinary treatment. We’re all one team: pediatricians, speech pathologists, orthodontists, whatever the patient needs. It’s wonderful to be able to help these kids. That’s why I’m here.