Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Disorders

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Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Disorders

Help for Kids With Face, Head, Jaw or Mouth Defects


Nemours craniofacial expert examines baby with cleft lip and palate condition.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common craniofacial disorders found in newborns. “Craniofacial” means the head or face. A cleft lip is an opening in the lip. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. At Nemours, our expert cleft and craniofacial teams can provide advanced, life-changing care. Our goal is to help your child look and function as normally as possible — and feel good about themselves as they grow.

Learn More About Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft & Craniofacial Conditions We Treat

Cleft & Craniofacial Conditions We Treat


We treat children with craniofacial and maxillofacial anomalies (deformities or defects of the face, head, jaw or mouth). That includes:

  • 22q.11.2 deletion syndrome, also called “diGeorge syndrome” or “velocardiofacial syndrome” (caused by the deletion of a small piece of chromosome that can affect many parts of the body including the face, heart and bones)
  • craniosynostosis (when bones of the skull fuse together before the brain has stopped growing)
  • Goldenhar syndrome (abnormalities of the head and bones of the spine, which can include differences of the eyes, ears, facial bones and mouth)
  • microtia (a deformity of the ear that may affect hearing)
  • Pierre Robin sequence (a condition often characterized by an abnormally small lower jaw formation that causes the tongue to fall back into the throat)
  • Treacher-Collins syndrome (causes problems with the structure of the face)
  • tumors of the head, face and jaws
  • vascular anomalies (blood vessels that have developed abnormally)
Cleft & Craniofacial Services We Offer

Cleft & Craniofacial Services We Offer


Most children can have surgery to repair a cleft lip, cleft palate or other craniofacial problem within their first 12-18 months of life. At Nemours, our large cleft and craniofacial teams offer complete evaluation, treatment and support services to children with facial clefts and craniofacial disorders. Working together to give your child complete, compassionate care, your care team may include a:

We’ll work together throughout your child’s care to make sure you understand what to expect at every step.

Why Choose Us for Cleft & Craniofacial Care

Why Choose Us for Cleft & Craniofacial Care


At Nemours, we offer the latest advances in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery, including minimally invasive endoscopic-assisted procedures when appropriate. These operations use smaller incisions, which means less scarring, less pain, less bleeding and a faster recovery for kids.

Children with a craniofacial condition often have to deal with social and/or emotional challenges too. We understand the impact this can have on your child’s confidence. That’s why a large part of our program is devoted to helping kids feel better about themselves. We’ll partner with you and your family, offering support and guidance throughout your child’s growth and development. We want to help your child feel better on the outside and the inside.

Learn More About Why to Choose Us »

Regional Cleft & Craniofacial Highlights 

Services, programs, facilities and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.

We offer complete cleft lip and palate, craniofacial and maxillofacial care at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select satellite Nemours duPont Pediatrics locations. After your first appointment, our large team will meet as a group and agree on a personalized treatment plan for your child.

  • accredited by the Commission on Approval of Teams for the American Cleft Palate — Craniofacial Association and Cleft Palate Foundation
  • advanced, fully equipped surgical care and a highly trained pediatric plastic surgery team
  • Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management Program, working with expectant parents and their doctors to help diagnose babies’ conditions during pregnancy and develop a plan of care for after they’re born
  • advanced practice nurse (APN) serving as your child’s care coordinator
  • access to more than 30 other medical specialties if your child needs additional care
  • academic ties with Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) and Christiana Care Health System
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware right across from our main hospital campus, for an affordable home away from home during long hospital stays

We offer complete cleft lip and palate, craniofacial and maxillofacial care at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando), as well as surgery consultations and follow-up care at select Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations. Our Facial Anomalies & Skull Base Program is taking a critical role in caring for children with craniofacial disorders — offering leading-edge treatment and surgical procedures.

  • home to one of the foremost cleft and craniofacial anomaly programs in the area
  • coordination with our Nemours Center for Fetal Care (for babies still in the womb with possible cleft lip or cleft palate)
  • access to more than 30 other medical specialties if your child needs additional care
  • academic ties with the University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • Ronald McDonald House on campus, for an affordable home away from home during long hospital stays

We offer complete cleft lip and palate, craniofacial and maxillofacial care at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville and select satellite locations.

  • surgeries performed at our neighbor and collaborating hospital Wolfson Children’s Hospital, with follow-ups after surgery in the hospital and at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville
  • academic and clinical ties with the University of Florida College of Medicine–Jacksonville and Mayo Clinic Florida
  • Ronald McDonald House  across the street, for an affordable home away from home during long hospital stays
Patient Stories

Patient Stories


Xavier shares his story about our cleft lip and palate care.

Sometimes the best support and peace of mind comes from families who’ve been there. Meet some of the inspiring kids we’ve been honored to treat.

See Patient Stories »

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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.