Multidisciplinary Care for Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Conditions

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AdventHealth for Children provides a full range of specialized care for these conditions, including the more commonly occurring cleft palate and plagiocephaly as well as more serious deformities such as craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of the cranial bones.

Incidence of positional plagiocephaly, where there is asymmetric flattening of the posterior skull, ear position and forehead, has been on the rise since the “Back-to-Sleep Campaign” to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) launched in 1994. As long as it is detected early, this condition can typically be treated without surgery, using physical therapy or a head orthosis.

However, plagiocephaly must be differentiated from craniosynostosis, a more severe condition that can lead to increased intracranial and intraocular pressure on rapidly developing brains, and requires surgery in the first few months of life. A thorough examination is necessary to confirm or rule out this diagnosis. Craniosynostosis can be isolated or part of a complex syndrome.

Our Craniofacial Disorder Clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach to caring for children with positional plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis, as well as cleft lip, cleft palate, vascular malformations, and other, less common abnormalities. Our team, comprised of a fellowship-trained craniofacial plastic surgeon, pediatric neurosurgeon and pediatric neuropsychologists, takes a customized approach to treating each patient — focusing on the latest evidence, innovative minimally invasive techniques, neurocognitive outcomes and virtual surgical planning. We work closely with families to present all options, helping them to make informed decisions about the care for their child.

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