Multi-Specialty Cleft & Craniofacial Team

Find compassionate, comprehensive care for your child.

If your child has a cleft or craniofacial condition, you may need long-term comprehensive care. At Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center, your multi-specialty cleft and craniofacial team offers surgical expertise along with ongoing supportive care for your child and family. We provide care coordination and ongoing communication – from birth to adulthood – so you and your child can focus on enjoying family time.

Why Choose Novant?

The Novant Health multi-specialty cleft and craniofacial team is recognized for meeting the high standards from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and the Cleft Palate Foundation.

The “craniofacial” designation means we offer an additional level of care for patients with congenital conditions affecting the skull and face.

As an ACPA-approved team, Novant Health provides cleft and craniofacial care in a coordinated and consistent manner. We follow a proven method for providing care to meet your overall developmental, medical and psychological needs.

Getting Started and Referrals

The cleft and craniofacial team at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center accept patients throughout North and South Carolina. We treat patients of any age with or without a physician's referral. Team members are available to talk with families and answer any questions about the services we provide.

Prenatal consultation is available at the request of an obstetrician or maternal fetal medicine specialist. For more information, please contact the team by phone at 910-667-6406.

Meet the multi-specialty cleft and craniofacial team.

When your child has cleft and craniofacial surgery, they will likely need treatment at several stages of growth, including related medical and dental care into adulthood. At Novant Health, we make it easy for your child to access top specialists to help with speech, nutrition, or mental and emotional health. Working together with you, our cleft and craniofacial team will develop and manage your child’s care plan to ensure you and your child get all the help you need. 

Our dedicated team of multi-specialty cleft and craniofacial experts include:

Medical director: Michael Jaskolka, DDS, MD, FACS works with you to ensure your child's and family's needs are identified early and taken care of by our team of specialists. Before your first visit, you and your child will have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Jaskolka.

Clinical coordinators: Clinical Coordinators are the hub for our patient- and family-centered approach. They coordinate your team visits, provide education, and communicate the care plan with you and other providers (pediatrician, dentist, therapists).

Pediatric dentistry: Children with cleft lip or palate often have complex dental needs. Our experts collaborate with pediatric dentistry specialists to help your child with examinations as well as any preventative, restorative, and prosthetic treatments, as needed.

Nutrition: If your baby has trouble gaining weight, our nutrition resource can help your baby get the nutrients needed to grow and thrive.

Feeding:  If you're baby is experiencing difficulties with feeding, the Nunnelee Pediatric Feeding Team will work with our cleft and craniofacial team to help your child get needed nutrution. 

Genetic counseling: Our team of genetic counselors can help answer questions about the role genes play in cleft lip and palate conditions and the likelihood that future children may carry similar genes. Our experts will review your family history and may recommend a referral to a pediatric medical geneticist.

Orthodontics: Children with cleft lip or palate can have problems with growth or alignment of the upper teeth and jaw. Your child may require orthodontic treatment in childhood and again in early adulthood.

Otolaryngology (ear, nose, throat surgery): Children with cleft palate are more prone to ear infections and hearing problems. Often we will place ear tubes at the time of cleft palate surgery. Our team also will monitor your child for tonsil, sinus, or breathing issues.

Developmental psychology: Our developmental psychology experts can evaluate and test your child to identify early motor, cognitive, and language delays.

Social work: Social workers provide emotional counseling and family support. They can also help you find resources in your community to further support your child's care. 

Speech and language pathology: Our speech and language pathologists offer evaluation, education and therapy to help your child develop feeding, speech, and language skills. We also can assist your child’s community or school speech and language pathologist to help support their therapy treatment. With the support of graduate students, our team is involved in research for the best surgical treatments of cleft-related speech disorders.

Surgery: The Novant Health cleft and craniofacial surgeons are specialists whose primary goal is to restore form and function for your child. To ensure the best results, surgery is carefully timed according to your child's growth and development. If your child is born with a cleft lip and palate you may need some of all the following procedures:

 Pre-natal  Ultrasound detection* and consultation
 Pre-surgery   Lip and nasal molding
 3-4 months      Cleft lip and nose repair
 8-12 months  Cleft palate repair (possible placement of ear tubes)
 4-6 years     Surgery to improve speech as needed
 6-9 years      Bone grafting of the upper jaw
 4-18 years     Corrective jaw surgery
14-18 years    Cleft lip and nose (rhinoplasty) revision as needed

*Isolated cleft palate is rarely identified by ultrasound.

Pediatric anesthesia: Our specially trained pediatric anesthesia team provides the special care your child needs for cleft and craniofacial procedures.

Neurosurgery: Our team may consult with a Novant Health neurosurgeon when treating your child's craniofacial condition.

Pediatric ophthalmology: Your child may be seen by a pediatric ophthamology specialist to ensure their vision is developing properly.

Pediatric radiology: Our team consults with pediatric radiologists to interpret diagnostic imaging tests for your child's cleft and craniofacial condition.