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Treatment Options

before
Before
After Picture
After

The purpose of the team evaluation is to devise a plan of care that will address the patient’s cleft-related needs. Appropriate treatment recommendations are forwarded to the pediatrician to assist with referrals as needed. The nurse coordinator works closely with the family to ensure treatment recommendations are carried out, as needed.

Prenatal Counseling

If prenatal diagnosis confirms that a baby will be born with a cleft lip and/or palate, the parents are offered counseling. The parents are invited to meet with the nurse coordinator who will show them post-operative pictures and provide them with cleft information and family networking tips.

Hospital Consultations

The nurse coordinator, when contacted by the physician, will visit the parents to discuss the implications of the diagnosis, provide feeding help and offer support services.

New Patient Assessment

The nurse coordinator will take a history, assess feeding progress and/or problems, as well as address care issues, provide anticipatory guidance and offer support services.

Cleft Team Evaluation

The team is made up of health professionals from a number of specialties, who all come together to evaluate and treat your child from a team approach. Our specialists include:

Pediatricians
Speech Pathologists
Pediatric Dentists
Geneticists
Orthodontists
Otolaryngologists
Psychologists
Audiologists
Plastic Surgeons
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
CMS Social Services Workers
Parent Coordinators
CMS Family Resource Workers

Each of these specialists sees the patient and family separately. After the clinic is over, the team meets to develop an individualized treatment plan. The nurse coordinator will contact the family by phone to inform them of the team's recommendations and answer any questions. A final team report including assessment and treatment plan is mailed to the family and patient's primary care physician.

One of the advantages of team care is being able to plan and coordinate multiple surgeries when necessary. These surgeries can be done at the same time, thus reducing the number of hospital admissions.

Education

Residents and medical students from the University of Florida rotate through the clinic to observe and learn about our unique team approach. This provides residents and medical students the opportunity to learn about the cleft condition and associated problems requiring team care.

As providers of cleft care, we assume the role of teachers to the community, too. Our team members are involved in national and state level cleft associations and meet with them annually for educational opportunities.

Family Support

Additional services include material from the Florida Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Association (FCPCA), the American Cleft Palate Association (ACPA) and four annual family activities, including a year-end holiday party.

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