For New Parents

Team care is so important for integrating care for patients. Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic is one of only three full Cleft Teams in Pennsylvania. The other two are the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. Only with a full team can all disciplines involved with care meet and discuss a treatment plan that is comprehensive.

Team evaluations occur on Tuesdays each week.  When you come to team, you will meet and be evaluated by various specialists, including:

Plastic Surgeon

Will evaluate your child and determine what type of surgery is best for them and when it should take place. Input about speech and orthodontics help make these decisions.

Feeding Specialist

Can answer questions you have about feeding your child, such as which bottle is best and amount and frequency of feedings.  You may already have met with a feeding specialist.


Monitors the development of your child’s teeth and plans phases of treatment that will align teeth and facilitate surgery to produce the best dental outcome.  Orthodontic care is offered at our clinic.

Speech Therapist

Evaluates your child’s speech and language development to determine whether speech therapy or surgical intervention is warranted.  Speech therapy is offered at our clinic.


Since hearing difficulties and middle ear problems are often associated with cleft palate, the audiologist will monitor middle ear function and evaluate hearing.

ENT or Pediatrician

Evaluates your child to see if there are any medical issues that need to be addressed by your family physician or a specialist.


Will check your child’s teeth, looking for any tooth decay or other dental concerns that may need attention.  General dental services are offered at the clinic.


Children with clefts will often need tooth replacements and occasionally need an appliance to help with speech.  A prosthodontist is a specialized dentists that can make restorations or prosthetics.  Prosthodontic services are offered at the clinic.

After you see all pertinent specialists, they will collectively discuss each case and plan an individualized treatment course, with any recommendations sent to you in a summary letter.