Contact the Cleft and Craniofacial Center
If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, please email or call Margaret Byrne, RN, BSN, nurse coordinator.
The Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Hasbro Children’s and Rhode Island Hospital is one of the oldest in New England, established more than 50 years ago by the late Armand Versaci, MD.
At the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital, we know that each child with a craniofacial condition has unique needs. Our interdisciplinary team of specialists creates individualized treatment plans to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient.
The treatment team meets regularly to see patients, allowing for consultation and seamless coordination of treatment. We use leading-edge technology such as high-resolution 3-D imaging and printing to assist in planning for reconstructive surgery.
You can be confident in the experience and expertise of our team. Our subspecialty surgeons have completed fellowships in pediatric and craniomaxillofacial (skull, jaw, and face) surgery and are nationally recognized in their fields. They specialize in treating disorders of soft tissue and bones, whether congenital (present from birth) or acquired, such as facial trauma.
Cleft Deformities, Skull Deformities and Additional Conditions We Treat
In a cleft lip, a split of the lip can extend up to the nose. Some infants have only an incomplete cleft, while others have a complete cleft, with an opening that goes from the red part of the lip through the bottom of the nose, spreading the nostril on the side of the cleft
A cleft palate is a separation in the roof of the mouth that can start in the back of the palate, or just behind the gum line. A cleft palate is called complete when the separation in the roof of the mouth extends from the gum line to the back of the palate.
Your child’s skull is made up of five major skull bones. Between them are growth plates called sutures. Craniosynostosis occurs when one or more of the sutures fuse abnormally, causing problems with skull and brain growth.
Plagiocephaly, also called flat head syndrome, is a common condition in which an infant’s soft skull develops flattening on the back of the head.
Ear Shape Deformities
Our doctors specialize in treating children who have complex ear deformities. Non-invasive ear molding is a treatment option for some infants with ear shape deformities. The molding involves the use of a customized piece of dental putty, surgical glue and adhesive tape to reshape the ear.
Ear Deformity, Complex
Our doctors specialize in treating children who have complex ear deformities. In addition to the external deformity, microtia and anotia may cause hearing loss due to the closure or absence of the ear canal and ear drum.
A hemangioma, also called a “strawberry birthmark” or “strawberry nevus,” is made up of extra blood vessels that form a cluster. A hemangioma may be present at birth or may develop one to three weeks after birth. When hemangiomas interfere with sight, breathing, or hearing, they may be treated with medications, laser therapy, or surgery.
Hemifacial microsomia is a birth defect that affects the development of the lower half of the face, usually the mouth, the ears, and the lower jaw. If it’s severe, HFM may cause breathing problems due to obstruction of the windpipe.
Before surgery for cleft lip repair, our specialists sometimes recommend an orthopedic treatment called nasoalveolar molding (NAM). This process reshapes the gum, lip, and nostrils with special dental molds and tape.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that spurs growth of tumors in the nervous system. Tumors originate in the cells that make up the nerves and the membrane that protects them (called the myelin sheath).
Pierre Robin Sequence
Some infants are born with a small lower jaw, which can affect the child’s ability to breathe normally. This is called Pierre Robin sequence (PRS).
Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) occurs when the velopharyngeal valve — which comprises the soft palate, the pharynx, and the walls of the throat — doesn’t close properly. This causes problems with swallowing and speech.