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Our cleft palate and craniofacial experts see patients with cleft lips or cleft palate.

A child born with a cleft lip or palate should begin evaluation between one and three weeks of age. This visit gives you an opportunity to voice your questions and concerns and get information about various treatment options. This appointment may last three to five hours depending on questions you have and the complexity of your child’s problems.

During this first visit, your health care team evaluates the need for pre-surgical treatment that some children with bilateral and wide unilateral clefts of the lip and palate may need.

Most children will return for clinic appointments every six months if they have a cleft of the lip and palate, or yearly if they have a cleft lip only, until age five. These appointments give your health care team an opportunity to check on your child’s speech, facial growth, hearing, and post-surgical repair status. These appointments may take between four to six hours, depending on the number of specialties seen and questions you may have regarding the treatment plan.

Treatment services include:

  • Plastic surgery/otolaryngology
  • Anesthesia
  • Audiology
  • Speech pathology
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Pediatric psychologists
  • Genetics
  • Social services

Health Information

An illustration of a baby with a cleft lip and a baby after a cleft lip procedure

Cleft Palate Patient Information

From Our UI Children's Hospital Specialists

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Patient Stories

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Ethan Craig: from pediatric patient to pediatric doctor-in-training

"I remember watching the doctors and thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could do what they do?’” Read how Ethan's experience as a pediatric patient led him to a career in medicine.

Care Closer to Home
Twice a year the Branstads get their followup care at a closer regional clinic offered through UI Children’s Hospital Child Health Specialty Clinics.

Locations and Contact

Iowa City, Iowa

UI Children's Hospital Otolaryngology Clinic
200 Hawkins Drive, 21291 Pomerantz Family Pavilion
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

In House Directions: Elevator L, Level 2.

In House Directions: Elevator L, Level 2.


  • Phone: 319-356-2201

Iowa City, Iowa

UI Children's Hospital Ambulatory Surgery Center
200 Hawkins Drive, 41004 Pomerantz Family Pavilion
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

In House Directions: Elevator L, Level 4.

In House Directions: Elevator L, Level 4.


  • Appointment: 319-384-8442

Spencer, Iowa

Northwest Iowa Ear, Nose, and Throat
920 Grand Avenue
Spencer, Iowa 51301


  • Phone: 877-891-5350

Care Team