Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies Frequently Asked Questions

Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies Frequently Asked Questions

The Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies Clinic at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin is a multidisciplinary clinic solely committed to providing expert care of infants, children and teens with congenital facial defects.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
What is cleft lip and/or cleft palate?
 
Cleft lip with or without cleft of the palate is a very common birth defect affecting approximately one in 700 infants born in the United States. Size and extent of the cleft vary between individuals.
 
How is cleft lip and/or cleft palate repaired?
 
The cleft lip is typically repaired between 8 and 12 weeks of age in a healthy infant. The palate is repaired between 10 and 12 months of age, to coincide with development of words. A variety of surgical repairs are available, and selected for the individual needs and anatomy of your infant.
 
What is Pierre Robin Sequence?
 
Pierre Robin Sequence is a diagnosis used when the mandible (lower jaw) is small, restricting the position of the tongue in the throat, resulting in airway obstruction. It is frequently associated with isolated cleft of the soft palate. Early surgery in the newborn period can be done to correct the mandibular deformity and relieve the obstruction. This process is known as distraction osteogenesis.
 
What is hemifacial microsomia and Goldenhar syndrome?
 
Asymmetric (uneven) formation of the mandible (lower jaw.) Patients frequently have associated asymmetry or malformation of the ears. Patients typically require jaw surgery at an early age and ear reconstruction.
 
What is craniosynostosis?
 
Craniosynostosis is a head-shape abnormality associated with premature fusion of the bony plates of the skull. It can be a sporadic (individual trait) or can be associated with other anomalies including the face, hands and eyes, e.g., Apert’s, Crouzon’s, Pfeiffer’s, Saethre-Chotzen.