If a craniofacial condition is identified during pregnancy, your family has the option to meet with the Cleft and Craniofacial team prior to delivery. This appointment will include visits with a Human Genetics provider and a genetic counselor. The appointment takes place in a relaxed atmosphere with an open exchange of questions and answers to help prepare you for the arrival of your baby. We will discuss infant feeding and feeding supplies will be given to you at this visit to prepare you for delivery. Our intent is to share with you what to expect after delivery and in the first stages of care. You will be able to establish a connection with our care team so we can support you after your baby is born.
You will see a provider from Human Genetics to establish care for your baby. The main focus at this visit is to monitor feeding and growth. After this visit, your child’s treatment plan will begin to be established. We will educate you on our recommendations, the timeline for treatment and discuss what to expect in the coming months. Following this visit, our team will help coordinate next steps based on recommendations we share with your family.
If your baby is having difficulty with feeding, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in feeding with cleft lip and palate will also be available at this appointment.
Infant and Toddler Visits
At these visits, you will again meet with a Human Genetics provider and your visits will also be coordinated with your child’s plastic surgeon. Timing and frequency of these appointments depends on your child’s diagnosis and surgical recommendations.
If your baby has a cleft palate, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in feeding will meet with you at the 6 month visit to begin assisting you with preparing for your child’s upcoming palate repair. An appointment with Otolaryngology may also be coordinated with these visits if your baby needs PE tubes. Your child remains in our Infant and Toddler clinic until they turn 3.
Preschool Craniofacial Team
At age 3, your child transitions to our preschool craniofacial team. At these visit, you will see Human Genetics, Plastic Surgery, Dentistry, Audiology and Speech Pathology. Following each visit, we discuss your child as a team and provide relevant and appropriate recommendations. We support you with coordinating any evaluations or other appointments that may be needed. Preschool craniofacial team is held on the third Friday of every month.
Main Craniofacial Team
When your child turns 6, they will transition to our main craniofacial team. This is where we will follow them until adulthood when they no longer require team care. At these visits, you will see Human Genetics, Plastic Surgery, Dentistry and Orthodontics, Otolaryngology, Audiology and Speech Pathology. As your child gets older, the primary focus of care changes depending on their age. We continue to meet as a team following each visit and then provide you with a comprehensive update with recommendations related to your child’s current needs. Main craniofacial team is held on the first and second Friday of every month.
In addition to team visits, your child may be referred to one of the following clinics at some point during your time with the Cleft and Craniofacial Center. Providers in these clinics are experts in their fields and are either members of the craniofacial team or colleagues who we collaborate closely with.
The Complex Obstructive Sleep Apnea Center is where we refer for further evaluation and management when your child is at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
The Orthognathic Clinic is held twice a month. A craniofacial surgeon and orthodontist evaluate older children who have significant tooth, jaw and mouth abnormalities. These children often require both orthodontic treatment and jaw surgery to correct skeletal misalignment of the teeth and jaws.
The Nasopharyngoscopy Clinic is held on the third Friday of every month. This clinic is where children who have a history of cleft palate with velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) are evaluated. Your child’s plastic surgeon and a speech pathologist complete the scope to assess your child’s palate when they are speaking so that appropriate surgical recommendations can be made.