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Department of Otolaryngology

Department of Otolaryngology

Planning Your Child’s Long-Term Care

As we have mentioned, a cleft lip and/or palate can affect many aspects of your child’s development, even after corrective surgery, including speech, hearing and dental problems. Having a cleft lip or palate can also influence a child’s emotional development. The UC Davis Cleft and Craniofacial Program offers a plan of care for your child that brings together a number of medical professionals to treat these related problem areas.

Your family doctor, pediatrician, or other specialist can refer you to the cleft and craniofacial team, or California Children’s Services (CCS) can make the arrangements. If you decide to participate in the team program, it will not be necessary for you to change pediatricians. The doctors and specialists on the team will continue to work with your physician and any other local providers involved with your child’s care. If time permits, you may be referred to the team before your child’s corrective surgery. After surgery, your child will be seen periodically, depending on his or her needs.

The Initial Screening Appointment

After your referral, an initial screening appointment will be made for you with the cleft and craniofacial team at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. You and your child will see eight or nine specialists during this visit, which will take an entire morning. We suggest that you bring some of your favorite books or toys, since the session may be a long one for both of you. Each team member will meet with you and your baby individually to conduct examinations and ask questions. Meeting your child and knowing your family history will help the team determine whether hearing, speech, X-ray, or other special studies or referrals are needed.

At the end of the morning, the entire team will meet to talk about your baby’s case. They will share information gathered from their individual sessions with you, determine your child’s medical needs, and develop a personalized treatment plan. We realize that spending an entire morning with so many specialists can be overwhelming. However, we encourage you to have lunch and then return to meet with team members and hear their recommendations firsthand. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to get immediate feedback, have all your questions answered, and go over exactly what steps need to be done.

A summary report based on the findings and specific recommendations of the team is also prepared. It contains both short-term and long-term treatment plans, answers to questions you may have raised during the screening, and ways in which you can take an active role in your child’s progress. Copies of the report are distributed to the referring physician or health care agency and to other health professionals who are caring for your child.


Department of Otolaryngology - Cleft and Craniofacial Program

Mailing address:

2521 Stockton Blvd., Suite 7200
Sacramento, CA 95817




(916) 734 - 2452