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Pierre Robin Sequence

While some pediatric craniofacial conditions can be diagnosed during prenatal appointments, some conditions cannot be detected until after your baby is born. Trust our experts to provide comprehensive care throughout your pregnancy and into your child’s life as they grow.

What Is Pierre Robin Sequence?

Pierre Robin Sequence, named after the French surgeon who researched this sequence of conditions, is a rare congenital birth defect that affects the jaw. This condition is known as a sequence due to an undeveloped jaw that sets off a sequence of other problems. The small jaw leads to displacement of the tongue, which then leads to airway obstruction. Some children may also develop a cleft palate.

What Causes Pierre Robin Sequence?

While it is believed environmental factors or genetics may play a part in the development of Pierre Robin Sequence, the exact cause is unknown.

Signs and Symptoms of Pierre Robin Sequence

Your pediatric surgeon will look for symptoms of Pierre Robin Sequence during physical exams after your baby is born. Symptoms may include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble feeding
  • Small jaw
  • Repeat ear infections

Pierre Robin Sequence may be associated with cleft palate due to the roof of the mouth not closing completely.

Pierre Robin Sequence Diagnosis

To diagnose Pierre Robin Sequence, your baby will first undergo a physical exam. If your pediatrician is seeing some of the symptoms listed above, they may confirm their diagnosis with the help of a pediatric ENT specialist, a CT scan or a sleep study. We put your child at the center of a multidisciplinary team of care. When necessary, each patient has a collaboration of kid-connected providers to help diagnose and treat your child’s needs.

Pierre Robin Sequence Treatment Options

Treatment is done in stages because multiple body functions may be affected, such as feeding, breathing and hearing. If your baby is having trouble breathing, treatment may include lengthening the jaw or a tracheotomy. If feeding seems to be a problem, a feeding tube may be put in place to ensure your baby continues to hit key weight milestones. Improving breathing can often improve feeding in young infants. Your baby may also develop hearing issues from fluid building up behind the eardrum or other hearing loss issues including conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. If this occurs, your pediatric specialist may recommend ear tubes to help prevent fluid buildup and hearing testing. Treatment for Pierre Robin Sequence is specialized to your child as not all diagnoses and treatments are the same. Lean on our team of experts to customize a plan for your baby.

Banner Children’s specialists are here to share and support your child at any stage of their health care journey, from prenatal care to birth and infancy, through childhood and adolescence.