Cleft Lip and Palate Program

About the Cleft Lip and Palate Program

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the nation’s leading centers for treating cleft lip and palate. Founded in 1953 as part of our internationally recognized Facial Reconstruction Center, our Cleft Lip and Palate Program is one of the largest in the nation.

On a yearly basis, we provide ongoing care for more than 700 patients with cleft defects in our clinic, and perform more than 1,000 surgical procedures related to cleft lip and palate repair. With each case, we oversee your child’s transformation — from diagnosis and surgery through ongoing treatment — to provide the best possible outcomes.

Our experienced, multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive, coordinated care for children and teenagers with cleft lip and palate.

Specialized treatment includes:

We also work closely with the “22q and You” Center at CHOP, the world leader in diagnosis and management of children with a chromosome 22q11.2 deletion, a genetic disorder that can cause a variety of health problems, including cleft palate.

Learn more about our team approach to treating cleft lip and palate »

What we treat

Cleft lip and palate are the most common congenital abnormalities of the mouth and lip, affecting up to 1 in 600 to 800 live births. The defect may involve the lip, the palate, the alveolus (the gum between the lip and the palate), or any combination of these. Cleft lip and palate may be isolated or part of a syndrome.

A normal fetus has a split lip and palate, but early in pregnancy, the sides of the lip and the roof of the mouth should fuse. Failure of fusion results in cleft lip, which ranges from mild (notching of the lip) to severe (opening from lip to nose), and/or cleft palate, which can extend from the front of the mouth to the throat and often includes the lip.

unilateral-completeExample of unilateral complete cleft lip, extending from one side of the lip into the nose.We treat all variations of cleft lip and palate, including unilateral, bilateral, complete and incomplete defects, form-fruste cleft lip, and submucous cleft palate, as well as syndromes associated with the defect.

Learn more about cleft lip and cleft palate, repair surgery and long-term follow-up care »

Make an appointment

To make an appointment with the Cleft Lip and Palate Program, please call 215-590-2208 or 215-590-2471.

Our program is located on the first floor in the Richard D. Wood Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center on CHOP’s Main Campus.

For directions, maps and parking information, as well as additional details about insurance, referrals, and what you should plan on bringing with you to your appointment, visit our appointments page.

We look forward to working with you and your child.


July 2013

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