penn surgery
penn surgery home penn surgery clinical penn surgery education penn surgery research penn surgery administration
Plastic Surgery Home Page
Health Information
Division of
Plastic Surgery
Cleft Lip and Palate
Scott Bartlett
S. Bartlett
David Low
D. Low
Joseph Serletti
Dr. Serletti

The second most commonly occurring birth defect, cleft lip and/or palate, is best treated with the skills of a multidisciplinary team of specialists. In some instances there is a genetic predisposition that causes clefts, but the true cause is not fully known even though there is ongoing research in this area. There are many specialized issues (e.g. feeding and nutrition, recurrent middle ear infections, speech problems, dental development, social development) for the cleft team and the families of the infants to address. Coordinated and comprehensive care is important until the child fully develops into adulthood.

familyCleft lip surgery is usually done at 10 to 12 weeks of age, and involves the repair of the lip and nose. Surgery to rejoin and reconstruct the palate for speech and nutrition generally occurs when the child is between 9 and 18 months. Some clefts, particularly those involving the gum line, require later bone grafting and orthodontic care. Long-term follow up is with the multidisciplinary team, addressing issues of speech, hearing, growth, dental and psychosocial development.

The Cleft Lip and Palate Team
at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia includes:
  • Plastic surgeons
  • Audiologists
  • Geneticists
  • Orthodontists
  • Otolaryngologists
  • Pediatric dentists
  • Pediatric nurses
  • Pediatricians
  • Psychologists
  • Speech pathologists
Inpatient Facilities:
Hospital University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Office Visit Locations:
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
Center for Human Appearance, Suite 1-150E (HUP)
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard (CHOP)
Making an Office Visit Appointment:
1-800-789-PENN (HUP) or 215-590-2208 (CHOP)

footer Terms of Use Legal Disclaimer Site Map Contact Us Financial Assistance About Penn Medicine Privacy Statement

penn medicine