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Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic

We believe in providing care beyond repairing a cleft lip or cleft palate through surgery.

Our Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Clinic provides complete treatment and rehabilitation services for children with cleft lip and cleft palate.

Our experienced team treats the condition using a coordinated care approach so the right help is available at the right time.

What is cleft lip and cleft palate?

Cleft lip is an opening in the lip, while a cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. Clefts can involve the upper lip, hard or soft palate (“roof” of the mouth) or any combination of these.

A cleft occurs during the first few weeks of fetal development. Before birth, the lip and palate fuse together to create a normal lip or palate. Clefts are known to develop from genetic or hereditary factors. A cleft lip occurs in 1 of every 1,000 births, making it the most common birth difference in the head and neck. It is unlikely that a mother did anything to cause a cleft.

The care team at the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic will be able to help you with all of your concerns.

Your care team

Your child’s care team is staffed with many experts specifically trained in the diagnosis, treatment and extended rehabilitation of children before and after these clefts have been corrected. This is commonly referred to as a multidisciplinary team.

Your child’s care team will work together to create a specific plan to address your child’s needs. We will also make sure your child’s appointments with their care team can be coordinated into one appointment.

Your child’s care team may include a:

  • Pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon to perform the surgery.
  • Orthodontist to correct the alignment of the teeth.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon to help with any necessary surgery of the jaw.
  • Geneticist to help understand the cause of the cleft.
  • Ear, nose and throat specialist to help with any issues with hearing.
  • Pediatrician to ensure total health.
  • Speech-language pathologist to assess speech and feeding issues.
  • Audiologist to test hearing.

Growing up

As your child grows up, they may have unique challenges. We are able to follow your child through the entire process and help answer any of your questions.

The first year

A cleft lip and palate is typically repaired in the first year of life.

There are many things that will happen in the first year related to your child’s cleft. Your child may need to see doctors regarding hearing, speech and language development and dental care.

Drinking from a bottle can be difficult as a cleft lip or palate may prevent forming a seal to create suction. We have specialists that will work with you through all of these issues to make sure your child has what they need.

Beyond the first year

After the first year, additional procedures may be required to improve speech and orthodontic care. Your child’s care team will continue to follow their care throughout this time to help with any issues that may arise.

To schedule an appointment, call 715-221-7073 or sign in to your My Marshfield Clinic account.

More Information

Marshfield Children’s is listed as an ACPA Approved Team by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA).

American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) logo