Cleft Lip & Palate

The Cleft Lip and Palate Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the largest and most experienced treatment centers in the country, caring for nearly 600 infants, children and adolescents every year.

Why Choose the Cleft Lip and Palate Program

at Boston Children's Hospital

Patients and their families from around the country and the world come to Boston Children’s for our:

  • Nationally recognized care: U.S.News & World Report ranks Boston Children's Hospital higher in more specialties than any other children's hospital in the country. Our team leverages the broad expertise throughout Boston Children’s Hospital to ensure extraordinary management of every aspect of your child’s well being.

  • Surgical excellence: Our world-class surgical care includes the unsurpassed safety and quality made possible by the most sophisticated tools and technologies available. Boston Children’s Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery is one of the largest and most active pediatric plastic surgery centers in the country.

  • Collaborative care: Our team approach combines expertise across multiple specialties and programs, enabling us to provide a range of services to you and your child, including:

    • Surgical cleft lip and/or palate repair

    • Dental and orthodontic treatment

    • Supportive nursing care by cleft lip/palate experts

    • Feeding guidance and nutritional support

    • Evaluation and management of hearing loss

    • Speech therapy

    • Psychosocial support and counseling

  • Research: Our department also co-directs a highly advanced, 2,500-square-foot research laboratory where our doctors are studying the causes of cleft lip/cleft palate and researching new therapies. Learn more about our craniofacial anomalies research.

The Cleft Lip and Palate Program’s Team Approach to Care

Because a cleft can involve the lip, nose and palate (the roof of the mouth), a child’s hearing, feeding, speech and dental functions may all be affected. A dedicated and knowledgeable team of specialists from several disciplines is necessary to give you and your child the long-term support you need.

Our comprehensive team of specialists includes:

  • Plastic surgeons                                          

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

  • Dentists

  • Orthodontists

  • Nurses

  • Psychologists and social workers

  • Otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors)

  • Speech-language pathologists

  • Audiologists (hearing specialist)

  • Clinical geneticists

Cleft 101

Plastic Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. John Meara, explains how cleft lip and cleft palates are diagnosed, the different forms of each, and how cleft lip/cleft palate treatment happens in several stages as a child grows.

For more information on cleft lip and palate, as well as our Center, be sure to download our Cleft Lip and Palate guide for families!

Cleft Lip and Palate, A Guide for Families