Cleft Palate

Our cleft palate and craniofacial experts see patients with cleft lips or cleft palate.

A child born with a cleft lip or palate should begin evaluation between one and three weeks of age. This visit gives you an opportunity to voice your questions and concerns and get information about various treatment options. This appointment may last three to five hours depending on questions you have and the complexity of your child’s problems.

During this first visit, your health care team evaluates the need for pre-surgical treatment that some children with bilateral and wide unilateral clefts of the lip and palate may need.

Most children will return for clinic appointments every six months if they have a cleft of the lip and palate, or yearly if they have a cleft lip only, until age five. These appointments give your health care team an opportunity to check on your child’s speech, facial growth, hearing, and post-surgical repair status. These appointments may take between four to six hours, depending on the number of specialties seen and questions you may have regarding the treatment plan.

Treatment services include:

  • Plastic surgery/otolaryngology
  • Anesthesia
  • Audiology
  • Speech pathology
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Pediatric psychologists
  • Genetics
  • Social services

Health Information

Patient Stories

  • Chad Gookin

    Chad Gookin with sister Heather Johnson "It’s funny how life works. Had I not been born with a cleft, my parents never would have moved to Wilton – the small Iowa town where I met my amazing wife. Without her, I wouldn't have been blessed with my two daughters, my everything." - Chad Gookin Read more
  • Ethan Craig: From pediatric patient to pediatric doctor-in-training

    Ethan Craig as an adult "I remember watching the doctors and thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could do what they do?’” Read how Ethan's experience as a pediatric patient led him to a career in medicine. Read more
  • Branstad daughters: care closer to home

    Branstad Family Twice a year the Branstads get their followup care at a closer regional clinic offered through UI Stead Family Children's Hospital Child Health Specialty Clinics. Read more

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    21291 Pomerantz Family Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: Elevator L, Level 2
    • 1-319-356-2201
  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    41004 Pomerantz Family Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: Elevator L, Level 4
    • 1-319-384-8442