Congenital anomalies can happen because of malnutrition, infection, alcohol and drug use (including some prescription drugs) during pregnancy, genetic mutations or a combination of factors. The March of Dimes estimates that 60 percent of birth defects happen for no discernible reason. About three babies out of every 100 will be born with a major birth defect [source: Nemours]. Some congenital defects require reconstructive surgery not only to correct outward appearance, but also to repair or restore day-to-day functionality.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center cites some common cranio/maxillofacial abnormalities as examples of birth defects that result from genetic mutation or folic acid deficiency during pregnancy. Some congenital anomalies that they can repair include the following:
Surgery to correct a cleft lip not only helps to boost a child's self-confidence and remove the associated social stigma, but it's also important for correcting issues with basic functions such as eating, talking, hearing and breathing. Otoplasty, surgery to fix misshapen ears, is another common reconstructive surgery performed to correct a congenital problem.