Young Adult Cleft Lip and Palate Program

Young adults who were born with a cleft lip and/or palate may benefit from additional specialty care or procedures to improve their function and appearance. At Children's Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Young Adult Cleft Lip and Palate Program, our mission is to treat the whole patient. In the last 20 years, there have been significant advances in technologies and techniques for cleft lip, palate, nose and alveolar repair. For many patients in their early 20s and beyond, we can offer new options to improve the mouth/jaw’s performance, nasal breathing, speech difficulties, and any cosmetic issues that may be experienced.

CHOP’s Young Adult Cleft Lip and Palate Program partners with Penn Medicine’s Division of Plastic Surgery and Penn Dental Medicine to help support each patient through the spectrum of care.

What we offer

To help each patient achieve optimal function and appearance, we offer specialized treatments and services that are often sought by young adult patients, including:

  • Specialized speech and language evaluation and treatment.
  • Rhinoplasty/nasal reconstruction to address residual deformities such as asymmetry, lack of definition or crookedness, many of which are associated with a component of nasal airway obstruction. Sleep and sports performance can be negatively impacted by chronic nasal obstruction. Surgery can improve these issues. 
  • Jaw (orthognathic) surgery to improve upper and lower jaw and tooth alignment and improve form and function.
  • Cleft lip revision if there are significant deficiencies or asymmetry, which can affect how the lips come together.
  • Orthodontic and dental care for complex dental issues.
  • Ongoing psychosocial support from dedicated clinical psychologists and social workers.

Why choose us

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the nation’s leading centers for treating cleft lip and palate, the most common congenital abnormalities of the mouth and lip, affecting about 1 in every 700 children born. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive, coordinated care for patients of all ages, from infants to young adults, born with cleft lip and palate. Over the last five years, we have treated 9,026 patients with cleft lip and cleft palate conditions during 16,368 visits.

Comprehensive care

Our Young Adult Cleft Lip and Palate Program consists of a multidisciplinary team of plastic surgeons, orthodontists, dentists, speech specialists, otolaryngologists, audiologists, genetic counselors, nurse team coordinators, and social workers, all of whom have the same goal — working together and with patients and families to provide the best possible outcomes.