Cullen Knight patient

Craniofacial Reconstruction Program

(757) 668-7713

Many craniofacial defects are detected before birth. CHKD's craniofacial clinic staff believes in early intervention and is available to consult with parents as soon as they learn of a craniofacial diagnosis.

At CHKD, children with craniofacial abnormalities receive comprehensive care from an experienced, multidisciplinary team with an international reputation for compassion and quality in a full-service hospital dedicated exclusively to the unique needs of children.

Craniofacial defects are abnormalities that involve both the skull and the face. Most are congenital, meaning that children are born with them, but in much rarer cases they can develop as a result of trauma or disease.

To heal the inside, as well as the outside, CHKD's pediatric psychologists, social workers, nurses and child life specialists provide counseling, coping techniques, warmth and understanding. The expertise of physical, occupational and speech therapy helps patients catch up developmentally and nutritionally before and after corrective surgery.

Conditions We Treat

The Team Approach

Most craniofacial abnormalities require the care of many medical disciplines working together to achieve optimal results. One of the biggest advantages of care at CHKD is that each member of your child's team has special training and experience in pediatrics. Their goal is to heal children -- body and mind -- by making them look as normal as possible and addressing the associated medical, education and social needs that might arise from their conditions.

Our craniofacial team consists of pediatric specialists in plastic surgery, craniomaxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, audiology, dentistry, psychology, general pediatrics, medical genetics, ophthalmology, ortho­dontics, speech pathology, social work and nursing. Using the newest technology and their years of experience, the team determines the best plan of care for each child.

Our craniofacial program is a fully approved Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Team (CPT, CFT) and meets the standards set forth by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and the Cleft Palate Foundation. This accreditation ensures that your child is receiving the most comprehensive and current craniofacial/cleft care. For more information regarding our craniofacial programs accreditation please visit

This care is coordinated by a clinical specialist who serves as a liaison for the family with the medical team, ensuring all medical needs are addressed and communicating regularly with the family and referring physicians.

Additional Team Members

Speech Pathology 
Beth Diamonstein, MS, CCC/SLP

Dr. John Ashby, D.D.S.
Dr. Anthony Peluso, D.D.S.

Pediatric Dentistry 
Dr. D. Garrett Spruill, D.D.S. 
Dr. Laurie Birsch, D.D.S. 

Social Work  
Christie Edwards, MSN  

Nurse Coordinator  
Karen Via, MSN, RN 

Making an Appointment

A call to the craniofacial program coordinator at (757) 668-7031 will facilitate the patient referral process. As part of our integrated approach, referring physicians continually receive updates of the patient's progress with the program.

When a patient visits the CHKD craniofacial program, appointments with the appropriate specialist are coordinated in advance for the convenience of the family. This allows for thorough and timely consultation by the health professionals evaluating the child. Sessions for patient assessment and follow-up care are scheduled weekly.

    Program Locations

    (757) 668-7713

    A World of Difference

    Born with a cleft palate and cleft lip, Cullen Knight turned to CHKD's craniofacial reconstruction team for life-changing help.

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    More Than A Hospital