Craniofacial disorders are abnormalities of the face or head, caused by a birth defect, disease or trauma. Directed by plastic surgeons, Mayo Clinic's Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic uses a multidisciplinary team approach in the treatment of all types of craniofacial disorders, including cleft lip and palate.

Over a two-day period, the Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic team conducts a complete evaluation of your child's condition. The team members meet to discuss their findings and develop a treatment plan, tailored to your child's needs. For example, treatment may involve surgery or referral to a local specialist, such as a pediatric dentist.

Why choose Mayo Clinic for cleft and craniofacial disorders

  • Multispecialty team approach. Mayo's comprehensive team includes experts from a variety of specialties, depending on your child's needs. Directed by plastic surgeons, other team members may include specialists in jaw and face (maxillofacial) and oral surgery, orthodontics, prosthetics (such as artificial ears, eyes, noses), vision, hearing, speech, neurosurgery, psychology, genetics, and social services.
  • Expertise and experience. With expertise and extensive experience in cleft and craniofacial disorders, including the most complicated cases, Mayo Clinic specialists can provide a customized treatment plan for your child.
  • Advanced technology and treatments. Mayo Clinic offers the latest in technology, including advanced diagnostic and treatment methods.

Examples of craniofacial disorders

Mayo Clinic experts treat all types of craniofacial disorders. Examples include:

  • Abnormal skull shapes due to premature closure of joints called head sutures (craniosynostosis), such as a forehead with one side flattened (plagiocephaly), a long and narrow skull (scaphocephaly) or a pointed forehead (trigoncephaly)
  • Hypertelorism — eyes that are abnormally far apart
  • Hypotelorism — eyes that are abnormally close together
  • Apert syndrome — abnormal skull shape, small upper jaw, abnormal distance between eyes, fused fingers and toes
  • Crouzon syndrome — abnormal skull shape, abnormal distance between eyes, protruding eyeballs, underdeveloped upper jaw
  • Cleft lip, cleft palate and facial clefts
  • Treacher Collins syndrome — underdeveloped cheekbones and lower jaw
  • Hemifacial microsomia — asymmetry of one or both sides of the face with missing or underdeveloped bones on the affected side
  • Diseases such as neurofibromatosis or malignancies