Cleft lip and palate program

The Cleft lip and palate program brings together a team of highly trained individuals from a variety of specialties to evaluate and treat children who are born with cleft lip and/or palate. They also work with children who have other structural or functional palate (velopharyngeal) problems, which may impact speech.

Our goal

At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, we treat more than just physical disorders. We also work with patients and their families to make treatment and living with conditions as easy as possible.

At the clinic, we strive to:

  • Provide excellent care to patients and families with clefts or other velopharyngeal problems
  • Ensure patients and families receive needed services
  • Support patients (and their families) who have these disorders by coordinating the care provided by our specialists

Our specialists

To best serve you and your child, our team is made up of specialists from many disciplines.

What you can expect

Out team coordinator, Wendy Puza, receives referrals and schedules new and return patients for appropriate services.
Before your child’s first appointment, we will send you a history form to fill out. This will help reduce the amount of information you’ll have to provide at the time of the clinic appointment.

We also will also ask you to bring any reports from speech pathologists and medical specialists you have already seen from outside our team. We will want to see your child on a regular basis to make sure we’re achieving the best possible results. If your child was referred by a physician outside of Children’s Hospital, we will keep that physician informed of all recommendations and refer you back for follow-up care when possible.

What happens at a visit?

At each visit, you can expect a full range of care, and your child will likely visit with more than one specialist during this time. We offer this one-stop care to make treatment as convenient as possible for your child and the rest of your family.

In most cases, you can expect:

  • The speech pathologist will assess your child in a play environment while you’re present. This can take an hour or longer depending on your child's age and ability to cooperate and participate in listening and play activities.
  • An audiologist will test your child's hearing.
  • If recommended, we may take you to Imaging, where the imaging technician will take an X-ray of the speech mechanism while your child talks.
  • The ear, nose and throat doctor, orthodontist, dentist, plastic surgeon and maxillofacial prosthodontist will see the child separately.
  • A genetic consultation will be available if you want or need it.
  • We will share information and test results with you at the time of your child’s visit.
  • After the visit, our team will discuss test results and develop a treatment plan.