a condition in which the lower half of one side of the face is underdeveloped and does not grow normally. The syndrome varies in severity, but always includes the maldevelopment of the ear and the mandible. This is the second most common facial birth defect after clefts. Researchers are still not sure why this happens, however, most agree that something occurred in the early stages of development such as a disturbance of the blood supply to the first and second branchial arches in the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. The surgeries recommended for children have a goal to improve facial symmetry, but reconstructing the bony and soft tissue, and establishing normal occlusion and joint junction.