Craniofacial reconstruction and remodeling part of Cleft and Craniofacial Program expansion

Cleft lip and palate are among the most common birth defects — affecting approximately one in 700 newborns. In response, the Cleft and Craniofacial Program at Children's has expanded its services. The largest growth has been in major craniofacial reconstruction and remodeling for infants and young children.

The evaluation of children diagnosed with craniosynostosis, Aperts and Crouzon's syndromes is overseen by Joe Petronio, MD, and Bob Tibesar, MD, who help lead a multidisciplinary craniofacial team. The team, which includes surgeons, geneticists, nurse practitioners, feeding specialists, oral surgeons, psychologists and social workers, evaluates patients in a collaborative setting.

Patients are evaluated at both the Children's - St. Paul and Children's - Minneapolis campuses, and the plagiocephaly team meets weekly in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and at Children's Minnetonka to evaluate plagiocephaly and institute helmeting protocols.

The evaluation and management of speech disorders in craniofacial and other syndromic patients is another area of recent growth for the program. The care team includes speech pathologists from all campuses and allows for an integrated approach to treating speech abnormalities which involves local providers and Children's specialists.

For more on Children's Cleft and Craniofacial Program, including patient education resources and information on how to refer a patient, go online or call Children's Physician Access, 612-343-2121; 866-755-2121