Cleft & Craniofacial Surgery

Cleft & Craniofacial Surgery

Find the hope of a bright future for your child born with cleft lip or palate or other craniofacial condition through the OU Health Cleft Lip & Palate Program, successfully serving Oklahoma and the surrounding region since 1977.

Innovative Cleft & Craniofacial Care for Children

At OU Health, you’ll work with a team of specially trained pediatric reconstructive surgeons who collaborate with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your child’s specific condition.

You benefit from the education you receive about your child’s situation, as well as guidance through all stages of treatment to help you understand the merits and risks involved with any recommended procedures.

Request an Appointment

Request an appointment or ask your doctor for a referral to the expert pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeons at OU Health in Oklahoma City.

Call (405) 271-4357

Supporting Your Child from Birth through Adolescence

As your OU Health cleft and craniofacial team delivers expert care from birth through teen years, your child develops greater confidence, improved appearance, better dental health, better social skills, and improved speech and hearing.

Evaluation & Tests for Craniofacial Conditions

The thorough evaluation process at OU Health begins with several recommended tests. Your doctor will let you know what to expect during your child’s tests that may include:

Advanced Surgical Procedures for Children’s Cleft

Depending on the type of cleft and your child’s age or stage of life, your child may need one or more surgical procedures to improve the condition. Your OU Health pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery team may recommend options such as:

  • Alveolar bone graft

  • Primary bilateral lip repair

  • Primary lip repair

  • Primary palate repair

  • Velopharyngeal incompetence repair

Related OU Health Surgery Services

Learn more about related OU Health children’s surgery services, including:

What to Expect as Your Child Grows

As your child’s needs change with age, you can return to this page for more information about the what to expect during growth stages of children with cleft lip or palate and how your OU Health plastic and reconstructive surgery care team can help.


Immediately after birth, your child may have difficulties feeding. Options for feeding include various types of bottles, such as the Haberman Bottle or the Dr. Brown Specialty Feeder, and specially formed nipples, such as the pigeon nipple. Ask your doctor for specific recommendations to accommodate changes during your child’s first year of life.

Typically, your OU Health surgeon repairs your child’s cleft lip at 10 weeks of age and repairs your child’s palate at around 10 months of age. In some cases, your doctor may recommend pre-surgical orthopedic appliances or pre-surgical orthodontic appliances.


Your child’s expert team of OU Health craniofacial specialists monitors your toddler’s physical development and hearing throughout their preschool years, generally at yearly check-ups. Often, your child’s condition won’t require a surgical procedure during this time except, perhaps, for bilateral cleft lip palate.


Your OU Health care team continues to monitor your child’s development and hearing during school years. If your child lives with alveolar cleft, your physician may recommend an alveolar bone graft. To reduce nasal-sounding speech, your child may need surgery for velopharyngeal incompetence.


At this important time of life, your child’s psychosocial and psychological health, as well as speech or dental changes, may require consultation and cosmetic procedures from your OU Health team of pediatric craniofacial professionals. Your teen may need to wear braces (orthodontics) or need jaw (orthognathic) surgery to correct dental and jaw problems caused by the cleft.

Research & Clinical Trials

Ask your physician about participating in a research trial if your child’s situation relates to ongoing plastic surgery-related projects at OU Health. Topics include congenital anomalies, cancer reconstruction, cosmetic surgery, cleft and craniosynostosis conditions, virtual surgery, augmented reality, advanced imaging and 3D printing.

Your Child’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Care Team

When you choose OU Health, you’ll collaborate with our skilled pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeons who also serve as members of the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center faculty and bring their hands-on fellowship specialty training and plastic surgery residency experience to your child’s care.

That means you and your child benefit from their extensive expertise, which translates into the highest level of pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery services and treatments in Oklahoma and the surrounding region.

  • The Cleft and Craniofacial Center, busiest in the region and led by of one of the most experienced surgeons in the country for management of pediatric cleft and craniofacial issues, includes the only comprehensive multidisciplinary group of specialized physicians in Oklahoma.

  • Our children’s plastic surgery team interacts with every healthcare service at OU Health to aid reconstruction of the most complex situations.

Your child’s multidisciplinary cleft and craniofacial team may include pediatric plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, dentists, geneticists, speech-language pathologists and other healthcare specialists.