At Wellspring Craniofacial Group, we believe in transformative care: the power to help children fulfill their promise and families to realize their hopes.
Our practice offers patients some of the nation’s foremost specialists in cleft lip treatment and aesthetic reconstruction. Our expertise is an essential part of why families choose Wellspring—but it’s not the full reason that parents like you rely on us.
You want and deserve a team of physicians who will be there for you and your child, who will be alongside you every step of the way in your journey, and who will bring you from the emotion of diagnosis to the joy of an exceptional outcome and every day that follows.
That’s what Wellspring offers: one heart, one mind, and one commitment to providing the best of care in every sense of the word.
A Shared Vision for Your Child’s Future
The first thing that you should know about a cleft lip diagnosis is that it is a common and treatable condition. We will do everything we can to help you understand the diagnosis and to make confident choices in your child’s care.
A cleft is a separation that can range from a notch in the red part of the lip (a “forme fruste”) to a complete cleft extending through the lip and into the nose. Clefts affect all types of people in every part of the world and approximately one in every 700 babies.
Through the experience, specialization, and skill of our physicians, Wellspring Craniofacial Group has established itself as one of the best resources in the country for cleft lip surgery:
- Children receive treatment by dedicated cleft specialists who address this condition every day.
- Dr. Cone, and Dr. Langevin, are different from many other pediatric craniofacial surgeons because of their combination of reconstructive and cosmetic expertise. Each brings a sense of artistry and beauty to complex surgical procedures.
- Patients benefit from the latest in proven surgical techniques. Our doctors are highly regarded leaders in the field and frequently contribute to the body of research and medical advancements.
When families like yours come to us for care related to a cleft lip, they aren’t just looking for treatment. Yes, they want someone to lead their child to a functional and beautiful outcome. However, they also want someone who understands their situation and supports their family with strength, compassion, and effective communication. This is our vision for a relationship with your family.
Cleft lip patient before nasal molding
Cleft lip patient after nasal molding
How We Approach Cleft Lip Treatment for Our Patients
Increasingly, a cleft lip diagnosis happens before a baby is born, given the sophisticated ultrasounds that are routinely performed with expectant mothers. We encourage families to come see us at this early stage for an initial consultation.
During the first visit, our doctors will help you move past anxiety, confusion, or fear to greater knowledge and assurance. Often during consultations, we look over before-and-after photographs, talk about what to expect, and introduce families to other members of our team. We then discuss a tentative schedule for care, which may look something like the following.
When you baby is born, close attention will be directed towards feeding, knowing that a cleft lip can present challenges to breast and bottle feeding. If your child has trouble feeding because of a cleft lip, our doctors and your delivery team can recommend the use of a special nipple and bottle that easily provides breast milk / formula. Wellspring Craniofacial Group also offers a 24/7 hotline for parents and medical staff who were not expecting a child with a cleft lip and who have questions. Call us at 512-289-1904.
First Week of Life
Wellspring Craniofacial Group has achieved some truly outstanding results through specialized techniques in cleft lip treatment. A centerpiece of our approach is nasal alveolar molding (NAM) before surgery to ensure a better result.
Over a 3-4 month period, the NAM brings the different parts of the lip closer together and gives the lip a natural projection. A NAM is a small, hand-crafted, and customized plastic appliance that fits to the infant’s mouth, nose, and lip and is worn daily. Dr. Hobar was among the earliest surgeons to employ this powerful technique in practice.
Our technician, Heather Early, will create your child’s NAM based on her years of experience in the design process. She is one one of the best in the country at her craft and will help you learn how to apply the NAM and support you in its use over the weeks that follow. You’ll always have a partner in your child’s care.
3-4 Months of Age
Wellspring Craniofacial Group typically performs cleft lip surgery at this stage. On the day of your child’s procedure, we will repair the cleft using a technique that aligns the nose and lip, provides the least visible scars, and is appropriate for the full range of clefts (unilateral, bilateral, complete, and incomplete). This stage is one of the most transformative, as it restores your child’s lip and nasal shape and contour, and restores your child’s one-of-a-kind smile.
After repairing a cleft lip, we look forward to seeing our patients annually. While the medical purpose is to ensure that children are developing as expected, these checkups are a joy for both families and doctors, giving us the opportunity to socialize, maintain a relationship over the years, and see how far children and their parents have come since the diagnosis.
Common Questions About Cleft Lip Treatment
To help your family gain comfort with cleft lip surgery, we share below some of the most common things that parents want to know:
Will the results of the procedure look natural?
Dr. Cone, Dr. Langevin, and Dr. Hobar focus intently on the details of reconstructive surgeries to give patients both functional and cosmetically beautiful outcomes. We encourage you to explore our before-and-after photos for a better idea of the complex diagnoses that we have treated for patients.
When should my child have cleft lip surgery?
Our surgeons perform the procedure around 3-4 months of age, though certain factors we will discuss during your consultation can affect this timing.
Why does the procedure take place at 3-4 months?
This timing allows the NAM to bring together the different parts of the lip and create a more natural projection. Also, children are physiologically more mature by this point. They have developed lip muscle and facial landmarks and have reached an appropriate size for cleft lip surgery.
How long will my child need to be in the hospital?
Your child should only need to stay overnight in the hospital and will be ready to go home with you the next morning.
Wellspring Craniofacial Group offers transformative care to guide your family from a cleft lip diagnosis to an exceptional outcome. Schedule an appointment with us by contacting our office online or by phone.