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UCDHS Cleft Program


What are Cleft Lip & Palate?

Causes of Cleft Lip & Palate

Addressing Concerns

Corrective Surgery

Your Child's Long Term Care

Additional Treatment

More Information






cleft lip, cleft palate

Cleft and Craniofacial Program - Introduction
Special Note to Parents

Cleft lip and /or palate affect one of every 700 babies. If you are a parent who has just learned that your child has a cleft lip or palate, this situation can evoke a multitude of emotions --- fear, guilt and even despair. While your feelings are normal and understandable, be assured that the vast majority of cleft lip and cleft palate conditions are correctable. Most children with clefts will develop normally and will have no other significant physical deformities. Your child’s present physical condition, while initially troubling, is not an illness that will become worse.

Children with clefts are just as special as other girls and boys. With corrective surgery and proper care, there is every likelihood that your child’s appearance will continue to improve, and that he or she will develop into a healthy, happy and attractive person.

A team Approach to Care

At UC Davis Children’s Hospital, we believe that coordinated care --- treatment which combines the efforts of many specialists --- is the best way to treat your child’s condition. We have helped thousands of children since the Cleft and Craniofacial Program began in 1973.

Following corrective surgery, children with cleft lip and cleft palate may need ongoing medical care for related problems that affect their communication skills and self-image. Our program brings together the cleft and craniofacial team, a dedicated group of health care professionals—such as surgeons, speech and hearing specialists, orthodontist, and social workers – who are experts in their fields. The role of each of these team members will be described later on this website. The team works together with your own pediatrician and other providers in your community to ensure the vest possible long-term care for your child.


To schedule a consulation, please call (916) 734-2347

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