Craniofacial Anomalies and Cleft Palate

Having a child who is born with a craniofacial alteration, such as a cleft lip and/or palate, can be overwhelming. Parents wonder if their child will ever look like other "normal" children, if they will have a regular childhood and how their child will eventually function as an adult in society. 

We understand the challenges that families face and are committed to excellence in comprehensive care for children born with craniofacial anomalies. Our Craniofacial Anomalies Multidisciplinary Program (CAMP) and Cleft Lip/Palate Team provide top quality care in the variety of disciplines necessary for complete evaluation and treatment of a child. This encompasses experts in plastic surgery, neurosurgery, ear/nose/throat surgery, speech therapy, genetics, pediatrics and family counseling specialists at the University of Chicago Medicine. Our clinical program also boasts expertise in dentistry/orthodontics.

The team treats not only cleft lip and palate anomalies, but also atypical facial clefting, craniofacial syndromes, hemifacial microsomia/facial asymmetry, craniofacial tumors and facial palsies. We also have expertise in addressing sleep disorders related to structural abnormalities in the facial skeleton (e.g., micrognathia). Team meetings are conducted on a bimonthly basis. Surgical procedures, performed by craniofacial fellowship-trained plastic surgeons, take place at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility with pediatric-trained anesthesiologists, nurses and intensive care specialists. 

Our craniofacial patients receive additional benefit from our research efforts. To bring life-changing discoveries and therapies to a child with craniofacial differences, research is being conducted on numerous disorders. This is ongoing research in the Bernard Sarnat Craniofacial Development Laboratory, an on-site facility founded by one of our team members.