Cleft and Craniofacial Center
Our multidisciplinary team of professionals provides the full spectrum of care, from prenatal consultation to complex care management for children and adults. Our team meets regularly to evaluate patients in a multidisciplinary clinic setting that is more convenient for patients and families and promotes open, easy communication among medical providers.
Our Craniofacial Team includes specialists in:
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery)
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
- Speech-language pathology
- Feeding specialist
- Family resource specialist
The Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital is one of the oldest in New England. It was started over 50 years ago by Armand Versace, MD, who also developed the plastic surgery residency program in 1963. Beginning with a strong foundation in multispecialty care, trusted colleagues were enlisted to manage children and adults with complex craniofacial anomalies. The team eventually moved to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in 1994 and the program continues to flourish. The Cleft and Craniofacial Center team has been accredited by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association since the inception of this certification process in 2009.
Our program has treated thousands of children and adults with cleft lip, cleft palate, craniosynostosis and other craniofacial anomalies. We know that being the parent of a child with a craniofacial condition can feel confusing and overwhelming. Our team is committed to providing education and support to both children and their families. We also welcome all those who may have received treatment at other hospitals and are seeking continued care. We personalize the treatment plan for each individual and are committed to finding the best possible outcome for every patient.
Personalized Medical Care
Each person with a craniofacial condition is unique. Therefore, the treatment plan is customized for every individual. We provide treatment plans for your child’s diagnosis and long-term management that is up-to-date and evidenced-based. We utilize leading-edge technology such as high-resolution 3-D imaging and printing to assist in planning for reconstructive surgery. The team works closely together to plan and coordinate any necessary treatments and surgical procedures to limit exposure to general anesthesia.
The team’s goal is to provide your child with a normal appearance, healthy teeth, good hearing, understandable speech and language, and a smooth transition into community settings like school, sports, etc. Our objective is to accomplish this with minimal disruptions in the family’s day-to-day life. We expect each child to grow up as a confident individual with the same opportunities for health, education, employment and social experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Each child is different, so the timing and frequency of visits may differ. In general, children need visits every one to two years so we can plan and coordinate treatment, and identify any problems in the areas of speech and hearing, dental health, education, and psychosocial needs.
Your child will be seeing multiple providers during the team appointment. Parents should be prepared for a lengthy visit, usually between one and two hours. Please bring snacks, drinks, any necessary baby supplies, as well as toys and electronics to keep your child entertained. You may also want to bring a calendar to schedule follow-up appointments and a notebook to write down important information (e.g., physician names and specialties, medical terms, special instructions).
Most insurance companies and state Medicaid programs will cover surgical care for children with cleft or craniofacial abnormalities. We will do our best to work with your insurance plan to advocate for your child to receive all necessary medical care. Each insurance company is different and medical expenses can vary. It is important for families to be aware of the out-of-pocket expenses like annual deductibles and co-pays for office visits. If you are considering changing insurance companies, please note that it is very important for a family to contact a new insurance provider before they change insurance companies, to investigate whether coverage includes a preexisting condition clause.
An innovative and minimally invasive procedure.