Cleft Palate Program

Cleft lip and palate are fissures in the upper lip and palate (the bony plate at the roof of the mouth). They often occur together, and are caused by incomplete closing of the two sides of the face in the developing embryo. They are one of the most common problems found in newborns. The incidence of cleft lip and palate is 1:700. There are about 5,000 babies born with cleft lip and/or palate born each year in the U.S. The malformation can only be treated with surgery and therapy. If left untreated, children with cleft lip and palate can suffer life-long handicaps including severe facial deformities, chronic dental and hearing problems, malnutrition and even social interactions.

The Cleft Palate Program at White Memorial Medical Center has been serving the community since 1980. We provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for children of all ages as well as adults. We are a multidisciplinary team. Our Cleft Palate Program is CCS approved for the child's total cleft palate care. We maintain a comprehensive affiliation with Loma Linda University, and also allied health/specialist, affiliations with USC, UCLA, CSUN, and CSULA. The program provides coordinated cleft team care at a single location, working side by side with the patient's own pediatrician or primary care physician. This program is an important service to the community, and depends on financial gifts from generous donors for continuity. We also accept all types of insurance, including CCS, Medi-Cal, HMO's, Regional Center funding and private insurance.

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