The Cleft clinic provides coordinated care for children and their families. Families may be referred antenatally (before birth) if a cleft condition has been identified on ultrasound. Each child and family has a different clinical journey. The Cleft clinics bring together a number of health professionals to provide multidisciplinary care to children and young people with cleft and craniofacial conditions. The specialist clinicians include:
Other specialists including geneticists, social workers and psychologists are accessed via onward referral. Children with cleft conditions will often see Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeons (ear nose and throat surgeons) and Audiology services. Typical contact with clinicians from the cleft clinic may include:
At or soon after birth
Contact with a speech pathologist and /or cleft clinic nurse to discuss infant feeding options and special feeding equipment. This may occur over the phone or in some hospital nurseries. Local speech pathologists and nurses regularly consult with the cleft clinic team.
2-12 weeks of age
Attendance at cleft clinic at Queensland Children’s Hospital. This appointment is for formal diagnosis and surgical planning with the plastic surgeons. Children with cleft lip as early as 2 weeks of age. Children with cleft palate only will be seen before 4 months of age. This may vary with the needs of each child. If you have a query about your first appointment please contact our cleft nurse 07 3068 4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3-6 months of age
Surgery for cleft lip repair. Your baby will be admitted for surgery with the plastic surgery team. They may require special feeding equipment and arm splints. These will be provided by the hospital. Check with the cleft team.
6-12 months of age
Surgery for cleft palate repair. Your baby will be admitted for surgery with the plastic surgery team. They may require special feeding equipment and arm splints. These will be provided by the hospital. Check with the cleft team. Your baby may also have “grommets” inserted if they have middle ear problems. They will be reviewed by the Ear Nose and Throat specialists and audiologists if this is required.
Speech pathology assessments commence. This may be face to face, telehealth or by questionnaire. If you have any concerns about your child’s communication development skills contact the speech pathology team 07 3068 2375 or LCCH-Speech@health.qld.gov.au.
2, 5, 8, 10, 15 years
Outpatient follow up with the whole cleft team (plastic surgery, oral health and orthodontics, speech pathology, nursing). Some children require more regular dental intervention, speech therapy or surgical reviews. These are arranged depending on each child’s needs.
- If you have any concerns about your child’s care please contact the cleft clinic nurse 07 3068 4321or email@example.com.
- If you have any concerns about your child’s Speech Pathology care including infant feeding bottles and teats please contact 07 3068 2375 or LCCH-Speech@health.qld.gov.au.
- If you have any concerns about your child’s surgical recovery including pain management please contact 07 3068 1111and ask to speak to the on-call plastic surgery registrar.
- If you have any general health queries, please contact your General Practitioner or 13 HEALTH(13 432584).
Who can access this service?
Children must have an apparent or suspected cleft or craniofacial condition. This includes antenatal diagnosis.
Referrals may be accepted up to a child’s 18th birthday.
This service is available to all Queensland children and children from northern New South Wales.
Do I need a referral?
You will need a formal referral to access this service.
How do I get a referral?
Referrals are accepted from:
- general practitioners
- public and private paediatricians
- other medical specialists.
Your referrer can contact the cleft clinic nurse if they wish to discuss the referral 07 3068 4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for health professionals
From 1 May 2019 referral criteria will apply at CHQ. This condition has minimum demographic and essential clinical referral information that is required to be included prior to submission of the referral. Visit the CPC website for the required condition. If you are unable to provide the required “essential information” please state the reason when you submit the referral.
Dr Yun Phua MBChB, FRACS (Plast)
Senior Medical Officers
Dr Stuart Bade MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Richard Lewandowski MBBS, FRACS (Plast), FRACS (Gen Surg)
Dr Susan O’Mahony MBBS MPhil MD FRACS (Plast)
Dr Richard Theile MBBS, FRACS (Plast)