Duke Cleft and Craniofacial Program (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Children who need repair of cleft lip or cleft palate conditions can benefit from Duke’s experienced team of specialists who tailor care to the needs of each patient.
Duke has a long history and commitment to treating cleft lip and palate, with one of the oldest treatment programs of its kind in the United States. Several hundred patients with cleft lip and palate are followed by Duke’s team on a routine basis from birth through young adulthood.
The treatment of cleft lip and palate is so complex that no one specialist can handle all of the issues that arise. Duke’s team approach provides special attention from appropriate specialists as needed throughout the treatment process.
At Duke, your child’s care team is led by two pediatric plastic surgeons. Other core members include specialists in plastic surgery, otolaryngology, audiology, speech pathology, and oral surgery.
Other specialists who will be called on as needed may come from craniofacial surgery, orthodontia, psychology, pediatrics, genetics, and pediatric dentistry.
Since children change with growth, evaluations and treatments will be related to the age of the child.
There is no procedure that can create so profound a positive impact on the lifelong emotional well-being of a child than the surgical correction of a cleft.
The word "cleft" refers to an opening or space. All clefts are different. They can occur at one or more different places on the face, such as the lips, the palate, or the gum ridge (alveolus).
In human development, the right and left sides of the face fuse near the midline. A cleft results when this fusion does not properly occur. Clefts can be of different sizes, and some are more severe than others.
Ann M. Mabie, MSPA CCC-A
Division of Plastic Surgery
Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Team Coordinator
DUMC Box 3974
Durham, NC 27710
Physicians offering cleft lip and cleft palate services include:
Locations in North Carolina at which we offer cleft lip and cleft palate care include: