The primary care pediatrician and the care of children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate

Charlotte W. Lewis, Lisa S. Jacob, Christoph U. Lehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Orofacial clefts, specifically cleft lip and/or cleft palate (CL/P), are among the most common congenital anomalies. CL/P vary in their location and severity and comprise 3 overarching groups: cleft lip (CL), cleft lip with cleft palate (CLP), and cleft palate alone (CP). CL/P may be associated with one of many syndromes that could further complicate a child's needs. Care of patients with CL/P spans prenatal diagnosis into adulthood. The appropriate timing and order of specific cleft-related care are important factors for optimizing outcomes; however, care should be individualized to meet the specific needs of each patient and family. Children with CL/P should receive their specialty cleft-related care from a multidisciplinary cleft or craniofacial team with sufficient patient and surgical volume to promote successful outcomes. The primary care pediatrician at the child's medical home has an essential role in making a timely diagnosis and referral; providing ongoing health care maintenance, anticipatory guidance, and acute care; and functioning as an advocate for the patient and a liaison between the family and the craniofacial/cleft team. This document provides background on CL/P and multidisciplinary team care, information about typical timing and order of cleft-related care, and recommendations for cleft/craniofacial teams and primary care pediatricians in the care of children with CL/P.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20170628
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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