Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic
The Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic provides a team of highly trained individuals in a variety of specialties to evaluate and treat children who are born with cleft lip and/or palate or have other structural or functional palate (velopharyngeal) problems.
The purpose of the clinic is to:
- Provide optimal care to patients and families with clefts or other velopharyngeal problems.
- Make sure patients and families receive needed services.
- Support patients and families with this disorder.
The team includes these specialists:
- Speech/language pathologist - addresses concerns about the child's speech development.
- Audiologist - tests a child's hearing, which can be affected by the cleft.
- Ear, nose and throat physician - looks for middle-ear problems, which can be caused by the cleft.
- Plastic surgeon - performs the cleft lip and palate surgery.
- Orthodontist - educates the family on possible future dental needs.
- Maxillofacial prosthodontist - replaces missing teeth or develops appliances to improve speech.
- Genetic counselor - helps the family understand the cause of the defect.
The clinic process:
The intake coordinator receives referrals and schedules new and return patients for appropriate services. Before the first appointment, parents are sent a history form to fill out that helps reduce the amount of information asked for at the time of the clinic appointment. Families are asked to bring any other reports from speech pathologists and medical specialists. Children are seen in clinic on a regular basis to make sure the best results are achieved. Patients referred by a physician outside of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin will be referred back to that physician for follow-up care.
What happens at a visit?
- The speech pathologist performs an assessment in a play environment with parents present. This can take an hour or longer depending on the child's age and ability to cooperate and participate in listening and play activities.
- An audiologist tests the child's hearing.
- If the speech pathologist recommends an x-ray, the family will be taken to the hospital building and an x-ray of the speech mechanism is taken while the child talks.
- The ear, nose and throat physician, orthodontist, dentist, plastic surgeon and maxillofacial prosthodontist see the child during separate assessments.
- A genetic consultation is available.
- Information and test results are shared with the family at the time of the clinic visit.
- After the clinic visit, the team talks about the test results and agrees on a treatment plan.
- This plan is shared with the family by phone.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Call (414) 266-2575.