11 answers

Looking for a Cleft Palate Specialist

I have just recently noticed that my 3 yr olds cleft repair is coming undone- she has a small hole in the roof of her mouth. Her last repair was done in Iowa City, Iowa at the hospital there, but since we have moved here, our insurance won't cover them. I am looking for a doctor in the Chicago area that does excellent repairs and has great bedside manner. Both my daughter and I have clefts, so I am no stranger to this. Prefer a clinic that specializes in cleft repairs or is affiliated with a university. The University of Iowa has one of the best otolaryngology clinics in the country and we were kind of spoiled. Just looking for an excellent place to take her. If anyone has children with a cleft and has an awesome doc, I'd love to hear about them. Oh- and she just has the cleft palate- no lip involvement, so a regular plastic surgeon is not our first choice.

What can I do next?

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I was born with a hole in the roof of my mouth, and later on I had to do another cleft palate repair. I went to UIC Cranio-facial center. They were very comprehensive, professional and they were overall just simply excellent in my pre and post-op care. Highly recommended. I wish I can recommend a doc to you from there, but this was all done way back in 1986.
Good luck! Not fun to go through it, but with the right people the process is easier.

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The first place I would start would be Children's Memorial Hospital http://www.childrensmemorial.org/findadoc/Search.aspx?sea.... I would also consult with Chicago Magazine. Annually they do a ranking of the best doctors around. I think this issue came out in the last 3-6 months.

Hi A.,
Here is an excellent Dr. with the Cranial Facial Team with Children's Memorial Hospital of Chicago. Recently this team has begun doing surgeries at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield which is local compared to having to go to the city. He is amazing.
Dr. Mark Erickson, D.D.S.
383 Schmale Road
Carol Stream, IL. 60188
e-mail ____@____.com
Good luck to you and God Bless you

I am dentist who worked for 10years at Loyola University Medical Center...now in private practice. While there, we had a multi-disciplinary team who treated and worked with patients with clefts. I recommend you consult Mark Steinberg MD, DDS..he is also now in private practice in Northbrook and maintains an affiliation with Loyola. He is an excellent clinician and has a wonderful caring manner.
I also am familiar with the UIC Craniofacial program, but not familiar with Children Memorial's program.
Given the options you have, I would definitely consult with your team at Iowa...there are a couple schools of thought to the management approaches (timing of procedures, growth concerns, etc) so I would think you would want to continue with one which has a similar philosophy to that at Iowa.
I wish you the best for your search.

you might contact your docs at Univ of Iowa. When I moved to Chicago from Baltimore, my docs at Johns Hopkins found me care here in Chicago for my genetic condition. The referral process worked out well.

Hello A.! My husband's sister gave birth to a daughter with a cleft palate and lip 2 1/2 years ago. Unfortunately, they lived in Northern Michigan at the time and couldn't easily take advantage of this resource: The Shriner's Hospital. They offer complete medical care FREE, and handle conditions like your daughters all the time. My aunt worked for them for 15 years as a technician and highly recommends the staff and doctors. Look into it... I know they have a website and are located on the near northwest side of Chicago (near Oak Park/Elmwood Park). Let me know if you have trouble finding info. and I will try and help!


U of Illinois has a Cleft Palate Clinic.

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I work at Children's Memorial Hospital, & I work very closely with the surgeons that do this kind of work. They do really great work (& trust me, I have nothing to gain for myself by recommending them!). Here are some names: Dr. Corcoran, Dr. Bauer, Dr. Vicari. They are all pediatric plastic surgeons and do repair cleft palates all the time.

My advice is no matter where you go, stick with strictly pediatric surgeons - not adult surgeons who do some surgery on kids. And I think having your child cared for at a pediatric institution ensures that the whole experience will be child-centered. It will help with her comfort level. And it means that the support staff (especially nurses) are very good with children and know how do deal with (god forbid) pediatric emergencies.

Good luck!

Hi A.,

My daughter was born with cleft palate also and just had her repair done 3 weeks ago by Dr. Laura Semba out of Edwards hospital in naperville. She came highly recommended from many healthcare associates and I (also a RN) would recommend her. She has a wonderful bedside manner with children.


D. :)

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