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One in every seven hundred children will be born with a cleft lip or palate. While these conditions are easily correctible, surgeons have found that in thirty percent of these cases, the oral cleft is a symptom of a much more complex craniofacial syndrome that can result in multiple malformations and severe facial deformities.
Children born with these syndromes often have difficulty breathing and swallowing food and are often afflicted with speech impediments—three of the most basic functions of life.
The Craniofacial Surgeons in the UCLA Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery are all board-certified in plastic surgery and fellowship trained in craniofacial surgery—all three of them completed their fellowship training at UCLA and were trained by Henry K. Kawamoto, MD, DDS, one of the ground-breaking surgeons who helped create and refine many of the surgical techniques used to correct craniofacial deformities. Our surgeons work in close collaboration with the UCLA Craniofacial Clinic to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each of their patients.
The UCLA Craniofacial Clinic
In order to better provide these patients with the complex care they need, UCLA established a multi-disciplinary Craniofacial Clinic. Since its inception in 1972, it defined the standard of care for the treatment of craniofacial abnormalities.
The program also serves as a regional center for the southwestern United States, drawing the majority of patients from among children with congenital abnormalities.
The UCLA Craniofacial Clinic utilizes a team approach to provide patients with individualized care. The clinic brings together plastic surgeons, oral surgeons, head and neck surgeons, medical geneticists, ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, orthodontists, otolaryngologists, pediatricians, audiologists and speech pathologists to develop a comprehensive and coordinated treatment plan for each of its patient.
Care is staged over the course of a child’s development, often requiring multiple surgeries to periodically correct deformities as a child’s face and skull develop.
The most common indications for craniofacial surgery are:
- Apert syndrome
- Cleft lip and/or palate
- Crouzon disease
- Facial and nasal encephaloceles with associated craniofacial disorders
- Hemifacial microsomia
- Pfeiffer syndrome
- Pierre Robin sequence
- Saethre Chotzen syndrome
- Treacher Collins syndrome
Our craniofacial surgeons also extend their reconstructive expertise to patients of all ages with trauma-related injuries requiring craniofacial restoration and to pediatric patients requiring facial reconstruction following cancer surgery.
Our partnership with health professionals in the community is key to our success at UCLA Health. It is our goal to assist you with referring a patient to UCLA and ensure they receive the care they need. Referral team members are available to assist referring physicians and case managers access services at UCLA Health by calling 1-800-UCLAMD1 (800-825-2631). Or, send an email to [email protected].
In CareConnect, referrals can be routed to Plastic Surgery – 60420 SURG PLASTICS MP2 or to the Craniofacial Clinic – 60297 PEDS CRANIOFACIAL CHC. For assistance, please contact us at (310) 825-5510 or send an email to [email protected].