The Foundation for Faces of Children endorses a team approach to the treatment of children with craniofacial conditions. We believe that the best outcomes result from collaborative care by a team of professionals who are experienced in the management of these disorders and who have expertise in your child’s specific condition.
Your child deserves the care of an experienced team. Surgeons who perform a high number of procedures offer the best chance for a successful outcome with fewer revisions. For cleft lip and cleft palate, seek out a surgeon who does at least 30-40 new cleft lip repairs each year. The surgeon should be part of a team at a major U.S. or Canadian medical center where the operations are performed.
Tips for Visiting your Medical Team
- When scheduling a visit to your child’s care team, plan to spend several hours at the clinic or hospital. During the visit, your child may be seen by as many five specialists, but the appointments probably won’t run back-to-back. To help you prepare for a more productive visit, here is a checklist of things to bring along:
- Patience – because the wait can be long
- Your spouse, partner, friend, or grandparent (someone to chat with you and help play with your child)
- Diapers and wipes
- Snacks, bottles, and formula
- Reading material, knitting, or other ways to pass the time
- A stroller (so your child will be able to lie down or be seated if chairs are limited)
- A sweater for your and/or blanket for the baby
- Parking ticket for validation
- A list of your questions written in advance of your visit
- A large pad of paper and pen for taking notes
- Collect business cards from the doctors and other health care professionals you meet
- Insurance referral authorization and hospital and insurance cards
- X-rays and medical records
- Written copies of test results
- Address and phone number of your pediatrician
- A cell phone or pre-paid phone card in case your visit runs longer than anticipated and you need to call home or work
- A sense of humor!