Craniofacial Primary Image

Craniofacial Center

(757) 668-7031

American Cleft Palate AccreditationA long-time partner of Operation Smile, CHKD's craniofacial center brings together a fully approved cleft palate-craniofacial team (CPT, CFT) that 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.

Craniofacial Defects

Many craniofacial defects are detected through ultrasounds before birth. CHKD's craniofacial staff believes in early intervention and is available to meet with parents as soon as they learn of a craniofacial diagnosis, including prenatal consultations before the baby is born.

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

At CHKD, children and infants with craniofacial abnormalities receive comprehensive care from an experienced, multidisciplinary team.  As a partner of Operation Smile, we perform charitable craniofacial reconstruction on children from around the world.

We have gained an international reputation for compassion and quality, and our full-service hospital is designed exclusively for children’s needs.

For more information regarding our craniofacial program’s accreditation, please visit

Conditions We Treat

The Team Approach

Most craniofacial abnormalities require the care of many doctors working together to achieve optimal results. One of the biggest advantages of our program is that each member of our team has special training and experience. Our goal is to heal your child – body and mind – by improving the function and appearance of their face while addressing the associated medical, education and social needs that might arise from their conditions.

Every year, our craniofacial team manages 800 patients and performs 200 surgical procedures. The craniofacial team consists of pediatric specialists in plastic surgery, craniomaxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, audiology, dentistry, general pediatrics, medical genetics, ophthalmology, orthodontics and speech pathology. Using the newest technology and its years of experience, our team determines the best plan of care for each child. 

In addition, CHKD's pediatric psychologists, social workers, nurses and child life specialists provide counseling, coping techniques, warmth and understanding. The expertise of our physical, occupational and speech therapists help patients catch up developmentally and nutritionally before and after corrective surgery.

Making an Appointment

Referring physicians should call craniofacial center coordinator Karen Via at (757) 668-7031 or email As part of our integrated approach, referring physicians continually receive updates of the patient's progress.

When a child visits the CHKD craniofacial center, appointments with the appropriate specialists are coordinated in advance for the family’s convenience. Children can see many specialists in one trip for more thorough and timely treatment. Sessions for patient assessment and follow-up care are scheduled weekly.

Our Center's Location
(757) 668-7031

Caring for Craniosynostosis

A World of Difference

Born in Beijing, China, with bilateral cleft lip and cleft palate, Cullen Knight's journey was a long one: 7,000 miles to be exact. His adoptive parents turned to Dr. George Hoerr for help.

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