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Drawing on the expertise of more than 15 pediatric specialists, the Johns Hopkins Cleft and Craniofacial Center combines these experts to form a team that meets on Monday afternoons to evaluate and treat children in a multispecialty setting. We are there for the patient and their families from prenatal diagnosis to ongoing consultation through the child's teen years.
The frequency of a prenatal diagnosis of cleft lip and palate is increasing with technical improvements in ultrasound technology. Despite the emotional distress this diagnosis can bring, it can offer families the opportunity to prepare for their baby's needs. We encourage parents to make an appointment as soon as the diagnosis is made so we can discuss treatment options for their baby.
During prenatal consultation, you will meet with the team pediatric plastic surgeon and a registered nurse, who is the clinic coordinator and feeding specialist. In this initial meeting, we will review the diagnosis, outline the treatment plan and timeline, and explain the anatomical details of the cleft. In addition, we will teach you feeding techniques that may be required for a baby with a cleft and provide you with special bottles. We will help prepare you for the birth of your baby, as well as how to set up the first visit once your baby is born.
During a pre-adoptive visit, we will review any medical records and photographs of the child. The pediatric plastic surgeon will explain possible treatment plans based on the information provided and the child's diagnosis. We will address any special feeding techniques and answer questions about speech and language development. Once you have brought your child home, we will schedule a multidisciplinary team evaluation.
To make an appointment with the Johns Hopkins Cleft and Craniofacial Center, please call 410-955-9478 or 410-955-9475.
We accept most insurance plans. We will address all insurance issues and questions when you call to make your appointment.
If your insurance requires a referral, be sure to bring a copy with you to your first appointment or fax it to 410-955-7060. We recommend you bring any recent tests or reports about the patient, such as hearing tests, CT scans, X-rays, or MRI images and reports. You should plan on staying at the clinic for about three hours to see all of the necessary specialists. Other children are welcome at the clinic, but if possible, we recommend attending the appointment with just the patient. This allows parents and guardians to really focus on the important information from the clinic team.
We treat every child individually because no two children are alike in their development. We aim to accommodate the physical changes that will occur as the child grows and develops. We consider all factors - physical and emotional - with each child's individual treatment plan. We also work closely with the patient's primary care physician and dentist.
During the first year of treatment, a child will most likely need to return for treatments two or three times. After the child's cleft lip and palate are repaired, the child will typically come once a year, unless there are issues that require additional visits. Most children are seen through their teen years.
You may find more information about your treatment or discharge instructions with our patient forms and brochures.