Advance with MUSC Health

Meet Mark Allen Miller, M.D., DMD, FACS

Advance With MUSC Health
November 22, 2023
Mark A. Miller, MD, DMD, FACS

Reshaping the Future of Pediatric Craniomaxillofacial Surgery at MUSC Health

When the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) was looking for a program director for its oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program, the hospital found a double-horned unicorn in Dr. Mark Miller. He’s both a pediatric craniomaxillofacial surgeon and the only fellowship-trained pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the state of South Carolina. This uniquely blended expertise further expands the scope, depth, and breadth of services that the only standalone children’s hospital in the state provides.

As a specialist in craniofacial surgery (reconstruction of skull and facial bones), as well as oral and maxillofacial surgery (reconstruction of facial bones, jaw bones, and teeth), Dr. Miller combines two practice areas into one, which provides his patients with a distinctive and specialized skillset to serve their needs.

Dr. Miller’s professional journey has taken him from dental school to medical school—a noteworthy trajectory—and then on to residency at the University of Florida, followed by a fellowship at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. After 9/11, he worked in Afghanistan and outside the wire in Iraq, as part of the U.S. Army Reserve, treating kids with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other craniofacial conditions. That’s where he realized the strength of his calling to provide care for children. He then built upon his practice at University of Texas Health in San Antonio, serving the pediatric population of South Texas. 

“Being at MUSC is like coming home,” says Miller. “The Southeast is where I got started—it’s an important part of my story and it’s important to me to be able to care for kids in this region again.” 

With his background in cleft and craniofacial care, combined with his pediatric oral and maxillofacial experience, his appointment at MUSC created a win-win opportunity. Also named the Associate Dean of Hospital Affairs at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, Dr. Miller is now able to use his talents to help shape change and make a lasting impact across the health system at MUSC. At the same time, with his stewardship, MUSC will be even better positioned to expand and grow the range of procedures it can perform.

Becoming THE Comprehensive Craniofacial and Cleft Program in the Southeast

As a premier care provider in the Southeastern United States, MUSC takes care of patients with congenital head and neck anomalies and traumas, as well as anomalies in growth and development. “When a patient comes to us, we’re able to assemble a multi-disciplinary team to provide wholistic medical support with all the specialists that are needed,” says Miller. “This makes it easier for families to navigate treatment and comprehensive recovery plans.”

By way of credentials, MUSC Children's Health Craniofacial Anomalies and Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate team is listed as an Approved Team by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA). And the ACPA has appointed Dr. Miller to the Parameters of Care Committee which will be working to develop the next set of protocols in caring for cleft and craniofacial anomalies for children all over the world.

“We’ll be able to provide all the services for the region at MUSC at a level of expertise that will be second to none,” explains Miller. “Additionally, we’re bringing in technologies that allow us to do virtual planning for surgical procedures. So in some of the really large reconstructive cases, we can do a virtual surgery with our pediatric neurosurgeons on the computer first as a team.” 

Dr. Miller has both trained with and helped further develop the virtual surgical planning techniques and technologies that give the surgical team guides that are used during the actual operation. These interoperative technologies can decrease the amount of operative time by as much as half.

“When we can decrease time in the operating room, we're also decreasing the risk to our patients,” said Miller. “This technology-supported approach means shorter hospital stays and faster recovery while it also opens the doors to a broader scope of procedures that can be done here at MUSC.”

Driven By A Commitment To Caring For Kids

Since 1999, Dr. Miller has continued his service as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Beyond his early deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, he has also made several trips as a civilian to Central and South America to treat kids with cleft and craniofacial abnormalities who would otherwise not have access to care.

“Every day I get to make a difference in children’s lives,” says Miller. “Whether it’s thousands of miles away or right here in South Carolina, what I do is a privilege. I, oftentimes, meet the parents before their babies are even born so I get to know these children, some of them, before they even enter the world. And I get to see them all the way through to when they're going off to college. By providing them with corrective surgeries at the appropriate times and in the appropriate ways, I can help give a child the best shot at living a happy and healthy life. It’s an honor to be able to do what I do. And I'm excited about having the support of the Medical University of South Carolina and MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital to provide the absolute best level of care to the children that we take care of.”

He's also making the difference at home, in the lives of his own two daughters. Dr. Miller and his husband adopted the girls, who are biological siblings, after first being their foster parents. They love doing anything they can as a family—taking nature walks, going to the beach, and exploring all the beauty South Carolina has to offer.

More About Pediatric Craniomaxillofacial Surgery at MUSC

Learn more about how our accredited team of specialists and other care providers works to help children and their families navigate medical and surgical treatment and recovery plans for a wide range of pediatric craniofacial disorders.

What conditions do we treat?

  • Apert Syndrome
  • Cleft Lip
  • Cleft Palate
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Craniofacial Anomalies
  • Crouzon Syndrome
  • Facial Clefts
  • Giant Congenital Nevi
  • Hemifacial Microsomia
  • Jaw Disorders
  • Microtia
  • Muenke Syndrome
  • Orthognathic/Facial Asymmetries
  • Pierre Robin Sequence
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Sathre-Chotzen Syndrome
  • Treacher Collins Syndrome
  • Velo-cardio-facial Syndrome (22q11.2 deletion syndrome)
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency/Incompetency
  • Other Congenital Anomalies

Why choose MUSC?

MUSC Children's Health is an integrated health care delivery system that provides comprehensive care for children from before birth up to eighteen years of age. We believe children have special needs for everything from medicines and the size of their beds to special care that only specially trained pediatric professionals can provide.

While a lot of medical centers might perform craniosynostosis surgery, complex craniofacial syndromes (such as Apert or Crouzon Syndromes and other craniofacial anomalies) may require full facial reconstructions and more advanced procedures performed by specialists. Whether it’s a cleft lip and palate or an extremely complex case, Dr. Miller and the team at MUSC Children’s Health are able to integrate endoscopically assisted surgery and minimally invasive craniosynostosis surgery, as well as interoperative technologies that can reduce the length of the actual procedures which reduces risk to the patient.

How do I make an appointment for a consultation?

Call 843-876-8282 or you can schedule an appointment through the patient’s MyChart account.