Cleft and Craniofacial Team

The UC Davis Cleft and Craniofacial Program offers a team of highly trained specialists and the most advanced equipment and techniques available to treat children with cleft lip and cleft palate.

The director of the program is Dr. Craig W. Senders, a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Senders’ surgical specialty is cleft lip and palate, and he has performed surgeries in the United States and in many other countries around the world.

The members of the cleft and craniofacial team are recognized experts in their fields. In addition, all team members are responsive to each patient’s special physical and emotional needs. The following specialists make up the team:

  • Audiologists
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Dentist / Orthodontists
  • Facial Plastic Surgeons
  • Geneticists
  • Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgeons
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Pediatricians
  • Social Workers
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Other specialist as needed (e.g., cardiologists, ophthalmologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and neurosurgeons)

The services provided by cleft and craniofacial team include:

  • Cleft lip, cleft palate and craniofacial syndrome evaluation
  • Feeding and nutritional assessment and airway management
  • Maxillofacial (jaw), facial plastic, reconstructive, and revision surgery
  • Speech evaluation and special studies for speech, voice and swallowing problems
  • Hearing evaluation
  • Genetic and prenatal genetic counseling
  • Social Services and assistance with insurance applications
  • Referral to parental support group

Paying for Treatment

Most cost relating to the Cleft and Craniofacial Program, including team evaluations, consultations, surgery and other treatments are covered by private insurance and California Children’s Services (CCS). Children with cleft lip or palate are medically qualified for CCS, but you will need to undergo financial screening to see if your child qualifies for total CCS coverage. You should discuss these concerns with your insurance company.

The team coordinator and social worker can also refer you to other agencies that may be able to provide financial coverage for your child’s treatment.

Interpreting Services

Interpreters for most languages, including American Sign Language, are available free of charge to all UC Davis Children’s Hospital patients, including those of the Cleft and Craniofacial Program. If you need an interpreter, one will be able to assist you over the telephone, during your child’s screening appointment with the cleft and craniofacial team, and at any follow-up appointments for testing and treatment.

Contacting the Cleft and Craniofacial Team

For more information on the Cleft and Craniofacial Program please call (916) 734-2452.

The team coordinator will also be happy to assist you in obtaining the feeding video or other educational materials. When your initial appointment has been made, you will receive detailed information about the morning screening schedule, parking, child care, and the cleft and craniofacial team.