Cleft Lip & Palate Program

Cleft Clinic - Patient Bryan Rivera

The Cleft Lip and Palate Program at Arkansas Children's Hospital incorporates a comprehensive multidisciplinary 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 to 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 (ACPA) 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 team was started by world-renowned pediatric otolaryngologist Dr. Robert Siebert who passed down his knowledge to Dr. Larry D. Hartzell.

ENT surgeons, Dr. Hartzell and Dr. Adam Johnson not only perform the primary cleft repair and bone grafting but provide comprehensive expertise in otologic and airway issues that may arise.  Dr. Johnson also directs the Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Clinic ( VPI) dedicated to both cleft and non-cleft patients experiencing speech disorders. 

Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Sagar Mehta is the director of the Craniofacial Team at ACH and specializes in primary cleft lip and palate surgery, alveolar bone grafting, orthognathic (jaw) surgeries, and cleft rhinoplasty.