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Cleft & Craniofacial Clinic
Cleft lip and palate occurs when the facial structures of the mouth and nose do not fuse during early fetal development. It is one of the most common forms of congenital differences and occurs in around 1 in 500 births.
The cause of cleft lip and palate is unknown and often the child is otherwise healthy, though in some cases it may be associated with other conditions.
In the United States, about 7,500 children are born with oral-facial clefts every year.
Cleft & Craniofacial Care at UVM Children's Hospital
The Cleft and Craniofacial Team combines experts from The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and community practices to provide the most comprehensive care possible for children diagnosed with cleft lip and palate.
The multidisciplinary team approach promotes coordination of care and reduces the number of clinic visits for the patient and family.
Our team is accredited by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.
We have also welcomed patient and family advisors to assist us in the creation of the clinic and give their input on how to make the clinic resources even better for our patients. If you are interested in speaking with another family about cleft or craniofacial care or would like to become a patient and family advisor, please contact Charlotte.Saffran@uvmhealth.org.
Craniofacial Conditions We Treat
- Cleft Lip and Palate
- Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (VPI)
- Speech disorders
- 22q Deletion
- Craniofacial Microsomia
- Pierre-Robin Sequence
- Mandibular Hypoplasia
- Ear molding
- Microtia and Anotia/Congenital Ear Conditions
- Facial Clefts
- Orthognathic Surgery
- Facial reconstruction
- Congenital Anomalies
- Goldenhaar Syndrome
- Treacher Collins
- Apert Syndrome
- Crouzon Syndrome
- Moebius Syndrome
- Facial reanimation
- Parry-Romberg Syndrome
What to Expect at Your Visit
The Craniofacial Clinic meets the 4th Wednesday of each month.
Download the Cleft Lip Palate Timeline.
At your first visit, you will be scheduled to meet our multidisciplinary team, including our plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist, speech pathologist, geneticist, an orthodontist, individually depending on your needs. Your child will also have an audiology screening, dental hygiene consult, and meet with a social worker if needed.
As a team, we will discuss a care plan customized to your child’s specific condition along with you during the visit. The multidisciplinary visit can last around 1-2 hours so your family can prepare ahead of time.
If you have been given the diagnosis of cleft lip or palate by pregnancy ultrasound, we offer prenatal consultations to give you information on the care of your child before they are born. Within the first weeks of your child’s life, we will schedule a visit to speak in more detail and provide an initial care plan.
Our care plans are collaborative and involve input from the team of providers, you and your child. Our team meets with you yearly until your child graduates from our clinic, usually between 18-21 years of age depending on your treatment plan.
Below is a timeline of possible evaluations and treatments for your child. Keep in mind not all of these interventions may apply to your child depending on their condition.