Pierre Robin syndrome is a rare condition that can cause
micrognathia (a small jaw), glossoptosis - a tendency for the base
of the tongue to ball up and fall backwards into the throat causing
obstruction, and a cleft palate. All babies with
the syndrome have some difficulties with breathing and feeding and
this varies in severity. Babies may need special nursing positions,
help to suck, with adapted teats. Breast feeding may be
difficult and special advice should be sought from a midwife
or health visitor.
It is not known why the condition occurs, though it has been
suggested that the jaw being compressed while the baby develops may
contribute. Diagnosis will usually occur in hospital after birth
and surgery used to correct the cleft palate at 6 to 19 months.
Some babies require assistance with breathing via a nasal prong or
a tracheostomy (opening a direct airway in the trachea or
windpipe). Most cases occur sporadically (with no family history),
but some cases may be due to Stickler syndrome or another
underlying condition. Affected families should be referred to a
genetic centre for information and support.
This overview is intended to be a basic description of the
condition. It is not intended to replace specialist medical advice.
We advise that you discuss your child's case with a qualified
medical professional who will be able to give you more detailed