Children with cleft lip and cleft palate may face many problems over the course of their lifetime. Ideally, your family should have a long and trusting relationship with your surgeon. Your surgeon will be your child's and your family's advocate as you grow together.

It’s important to have a good relationship with your surgeon over the course of your child’s treatment. But choosing a surgeon for your child shouldn't cause more stress than the surgeries themselves.

Our pediatric facial plastic and ENT surgeons focus exclusively on children with conditions of the face, head, neck, or throat. Our surgeons are experts in evaluating, managing, and performing the full range of surgeries for children with cleft lip and cleft palate.

When we aren't caring for children with cleft lip and palate, we are helping children with other problems of the face, head, neck, and throat. No matter what stage your child is in of cleft care, we are available to discuss any concerns you and your family may have.

You Can Choose Your Child's Surgeon

An essential part of our cleft team's core value is that parents have the right to choose their surgeon. Not all cleft teams provide this opportunity for families.

Choosing a Surgeon: What Should I Look For?

Your surgeon should be well trained to treat all of the problems your child and family are facing.

As pediatric facial plastic & ENT surgeons, we diagnose and surgically manage these types of problems on a daily basis. We understand the importance of how these structures work together.

When we aren't treating children with cleft lip and palate, we treat children with other disorders in the face, head, throat, or neck. Our surgeons have a deep understanding of problems that can affect your child's quality of life. These problems may include improving the nasal airway, voice and speech, swallowing, or removing tumors from the face and nose.

Most of these problems are described on this site; you can learn more about our surgeons' expertise in caring for your child's cleft lip and cleft palate.

Team-Based Care

Many of our patients have problems that are best managed by a team of experts. Your surgeon can help connect you to team members and community resources you may need as you and your family are learning to care for your child with a cleft. 

Several of our pediatric facial plastic & ENT surgeons are members of the Utah Fetal Center at Primary Children's Hospital and are involved in planning, counseling, and caring for infants with a wide range of problems affecting the head, neck, face, or airway.

We work collaboratively to discuss the best treatment for each patient and ensure your child's care fits well with your family's unique needs. 

What is a Pediatric Facial Plastic & ENT Surgeon?

Our pediatric facial plastic surgeons are pediatric otolaryngologists (commonly called ENT, or ear, nose, and throat surgeons). Our team dedicates extra time and training in evaluation, comprehensive management, and surgery for children with cleft lip and palate. 

As pediatric otolaryngologists, we also have expertise in managing complex structures of the face, head, and neck. We only treat children and are passionate about cleft care.

Experts at Treating Face, Head, Throat, & Neck Conditions

Children with cleft lip and palate have two main types of problems:

  1. A child’s face looks different.
  2. Parts of the face, nose, or throat will not work how they should. 

Our pediatric facial plastic & ENT surgeons are experts in diagnosing and correcting both of these types of problems. We also have expertise with surgeries that change your child's physical appearance. These include improving the appearance of scars caused by trauma and surgeries that fix broken facial bones. Many families trust their child's face to our surgeons.

Children with cleft lip and palate may experience other problems including:

  • ear problems and the need for ear surgeries,
  • hearing problems,
  • swallowing problems,
  • nasal congestion and obstruction (when nostrils are blocked),
  • snoring and sleep apnea,
  • and voice problems.

Your child may also have differences in the way the face, head, and throat work. Some common problems include:

  • a narrow nasal passage (this can make it difficult for your child to breathe through their nose),
  • problems with how the upper and lower jaw line up,
  • and problems with the way the palate moves during speech. This results in hypernasalspeech.

Our pediatric facial plastic & ENT surgeons are experts in all of these areas in addition to providing comprehensive cleft care.

Leading Multidisciplinary Teams

As pediatric facial plastic & ENT surgeons, we specialize in many types of surgeries on the face, head, and neck. We are passionate about helping children with complex problems in addition to helping their families understand and cope with their disorder. 

We are often involved in (and often lead) the care of children with complicated problems requiring multidisciplinary management teams. In fact, the American Cleft Palate Association recommends that pediatric cleft doctors work together as a multidisciplinary team.

While a surgeon can be an expert in the operating room, they need the help of an experienced team to ensure children with complex problems get the best care. 

We also care for other complex problems including:

  • breathing and swallowing problems,
  • voice problems,
  • sinonasal disease,
  • hearing loss,
  • and other problems.

For many of these problems, our surgeons lead these multidisciplinary teams. Many of these problems are also common among children with cleft lip and palate.

Are you looking for an ENT or a Plastic Surgeon?