As a father of four, Dr. Jeffrey Cone has built his practice around a simple principle: to treat his pediatric patients with the standard of care and attention that he would want for his own children.
“I am often asked, ‘How did you choose pediatric plastic surgery?’ and the answer is simple. This field is one of the few that combines cutting edge science with artistry in order to significantly improve a child’s life. As a result, it is both challenging and incredibly rewarding. Few things are as fulfilling as a big smile from a child because of his or her excitement about a result. From my perspective, this makes it the best job in the world.” – Dr. Jeffrey Cone
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.
The first thing that you should know about a cleft lip diagnosis is that it is a common and treatable condition. 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. Cleft Lips affect all types of people in every part of the world and approximately one in every 700 babies.
When families like yours come to us for care related to a cleft lip, they aren’t just looking for treatment they also want someone who understands their situation and supports their family with strength, compassion, and effective communication. This is our vision.
Below is a brief overview of a cleft lip treatment plan. Please call us today to learn more about each stage of your child’s life and what is entailed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our daughter was born with a large birthmark/mole on her belly. We decided to finally have it removed while she was still young (6yo). We picked Dr. Cone after speaking with a handful of recommended plastic surgeon’s in the area. Everything went exactly as he said and we really couldn’t be more happy with the result. I will note we also followed every direction he gave us and kept the area clean and dry for the recommended timeframe. At 6 weeks post-op, the scar looks amazing and I know within a year or so it’ll hardly be noticeable. My husband and I both marvel at how amazing it looks. Thank you so much, Dr. Cone!
“Wonderful experience overall. Everyone on staff is so kind, hepful, dedicated and professional. I can’t recommend them highly enough! And the fact that they are involved in the LEAP Foundation proves their desire to give back to the community.”
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