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Craniofacial Disorders Clinic

When babies are born with a craniofacial condition, the effect on their lives can be more than physical. Children and their families may face many challenges, including the need for ongoing medical care. MetroHealth’s Craniofacial Disorders Clinic provides the very best in specialized care, along with plenty of love and compassion for kids.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5198.

What is a Craniofacial Condition?

In the Craniofacial Disorders Clinic, we treat a wide range of common and complex birth defects affecting the head and face. The most common are cleft lip and palate. They happen when a baby's lip or mouth isn't fully formed before birth. There may be a split in the lip or along the roof of the mouth. This may cause feeding problems and other challenges for babies.

Other disorders seen in the clinic include:

  • Craniosynostosis (This happens when the bones of the skull join too soon, before the brain is fully formed. This can cause a misshapen head and pressure inside an infant's skull.)
  • Jaw, ear, eye or other facial deformities
  • Large birthmarks, including vascular anomalies on the face or other areas

These conditions not only affect a child's appearance; they may cause medical problems or developmental delays. We help kids of all ages overcome these challenges and meet their full developmental potential. Our experts also do everything they can to improve a patient's appearance.

Experts in Craniofacial Surgery

MetroHealth experts will evaluate your child and craft a treatment plan for your child's unique needs. The right plan may involve medical therapies, or surgical reconstruction. You are encouraged to ask questions, give input on therapies and otherwise help to guide the work. Your child's team will work closely with you, so you'll feel comfortable at every step of the journey.

MetroHealth offers many procedures to treat craniofacial conditions, including:

  • Cleft lip surgery and cleft palate repair
  • Surgery to improve the appearance of prominent (protruding) ears
  • Surgery to rebuild an underdeveloped ear (microtia)
  • Cranial vault remodeling for craniosynostosis, to improve the shape of the head and ease pressure on the brain
  • Jaw distraction osteogenesis, to lengthen the jaw
  • Tissue expansion, to remove large birthmarks
  • Treatments to remove congenital nevi (large moles that can become skin cancers)

Surrounded by a Complete Team

Children with craniofacial disorders may need more than surgical care, and they may benefit from other types of therapies. That's why kids at MetroHealth are seen by many different specialists.

The MetroHealth team has met or exceeded standards to be approved and recognized by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and Cleft Palate Foundation. That's because we have the experience, the expertise and the right specialists available to take great care of kids.

Leading the team is Medical Director Ali Totonchi, MD. He’s a board-certified physician with fellowship training in pediatric plastic surgery. His team includes special nurses and a social worker to help families.

And kids get access to experts in ear, nose and throat; pediatric neurosurgery; oral surgery; pediatric dentistry; genetics; speech therapy; hearing; and pediatric psychology, all in one place. That means fewer appointments to keep track of and fewer doctors to coordinate with.

While the team is highly specialized, they also make sure kids get total care. Almost every aspect of a child’s overall health can be addressed at the clinic. That means families can get special care—and support—at one location.