Cleft Lip & Palate Program
The Cleft Lip and Palate Program at Arkansas Children's Hospital incorporates an interdisciplinary team, with each member specialized in pediatric care. An important advantage of the team approach is that the team's professionals are in direct and continuous communication about the child's care. The goal of the team is the ensure that care is provided in a coordinated, consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments within the framework of the child's overall developmental, medical and psychological needs.
Each team member is fully aware of the child's specific needs and progress and is able to make recommendations for care which are consistent with those given by other team members.
The Cleft Lip and Palate Team at ACH is fully accredited by the American Cleft Palate Association and is one of many programs at ACH which provide high quality, individual service to children with special health care needs.
Since 1978, almost all children born in Arkansas with cleft lip/palate have been treated at ACH. The program is headed by Dr. Larry D. Hartzell as the medical director. He is a faculty member of the UAMS Department of Otolaryngology.
The cleft lip and palate team provides comprehensive, coordinated care to children with clefts and is dedicated to meeting each child's individual needs from the time of birth until the child no longer needs our services, which is usually in the teen years, but this may extend even into adulthood.
Both the medical treatment and the emotional care your child will receive at ACH are geared towards the patient's individual needs and his or her family. The course of surgery and treatment planned for your child begins with an initial evaluation that takes place shortly after birth, although we also welcome prenatal consultations. This initial evaluation is one of the most important steps in the care of a child with a cleft. Not only does it increase the chances of a successful outcome, but it allows you the opportunity to have your many questions answered as quickly and as accurately as possible. Periodic evaluations will continue according to the child's specific needs.