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A child's smile, transformed

Georgia boy benefits from expertise at Snyder Family Cleft & Craniofacial Program at Wolfson Children's

Article Author: Vikki Mioduszewski

Article Date:

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When Katelyn and Kenneth “Scott” Williamson attended their prenatal appointment in June 2016, they learned some unexpected news about their baby boy, Kaleb. Their unborn son was diagnosed with a cleft lip and a cleft palate condition.

Considered high risk because her first son, Kolton, now age 7, was born early at 33 weeks. Katelyn’s obstetrician, Robert D. Mixson, MD, chief of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Southeast Georgia Health System-Camden Campus, referred her to a high-risk obstetrician. During a routine ultrasound just two-and-a-half weeks before Kaleb was born, doctors detected the baby’s lip and mouth area had a visible difference.

“We did not expect to get this news,” Katelyn said. “This condition does not run in our family.”

The Williamsons were referred to the Snyder Family Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The Center’s interdisciplinary Cleft Palate Team provided the Williamsons with information about their son’s condition, future treatment and care.

“The Center’s support team is amazing,” Katelyn said. “Before Kaleb was born, they helped us understand what to expect. When I delivered, Kaleb arrived at midnight and their support team arrived early the next morning, helping me learn how to feed him with a bottle designed for cleft babies.”

Kaleb, now 2, has had three cleft lip and palate repair surgeries performed by the Cleft and Craniofacial Center’s multidisciplinary team of specialists at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The Williamsons are happy that Kaleb has been able to get exceptional quality medical and surgical care close to home at the Snyder Family Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, which recently received approval from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) as an ACPA-approved Cleft Palate Team and Craniofacial Team.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s regional program is one of 112 in the country, seven in Florida and two in Georgia to have earned this approval.

“We are honored to have the Snyder Family Cleft and Craniofacial Center program receive ACPA approval, recognizing our team as having the highest level of training in cleft palate and craniofacial surgery,” said pediatrician Jeffrey Goldhagen, MD, medical director of the Snyder Family Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “The ACPA has established the standards for industry excellence and team recognition, and its approval recognizes our dedication to the highest quality of patient care.”

To receive this national distinction, teams must meet the required standards of care and outcomes set by the ACPA, an international nonprofit association of more than 2,500 healthcare professionals who are involved in the treatment and research of cleft lip, cleft palate, and other craniofacial abnormalities. One of the many functions of this organization is to perform reviews of teams from various locations.

The Snyder Family Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital follows the top recommended protocols for the type of specialists who are on a child’s medical team, as well as protocols for the timing of evaluations and treatments based on a child’s specific needs. Children born with birth defects known as cleft lip, cleft palate and/or other craniofacial differences may require individualized treatment from infancy into adulthood.

“We have assembled a highly trained team of experts from many disciplines to treat patients,” said Dr. Goldhagen. “All of us work together to provide comprehensive, family-centered patient care.”

The Snyder Family Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital receives generous support from the Edward and Lizbeth Snyder Pediatric Cleft and Craniofacial Conditions Endowment.

For an appointment, more information or to obtain a second opinion for your child, please call the Cleft & Craniofacial Center at 904-633-0942.

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