Diagnosis and Evaluation

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Diagnosis of Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders  


How is a cleft or craniofacial disorder diagnosed?

As a prospective patient at the Barrow Cleft and Craniofacial Center, you will meet with our team of cleft and craniofacial specialists for an intial consultation. During this meeting, our team members will perform an examination, order the appropriate diagnostic tests, diagnose your condition, and prepare your treatment plan. Cleft and craniofacial disorders are diagnosed by evaluating your anatomical structures, medical history, development, radiographic studies, and results from genetic testing.

Accurate and timely diagnosis can have extremely significant implications for your health and long-term quality of life. You should schedule a focused craniofacial visit if you have one of the following symptoms:

  • asymmetric head shape or face missing anatomical features
  • unusual head shape
  • unusually flat face
  • facial irregularities that make speech or chewing difficult
  • in infants, signs and symptoms of intracranial pressure, including a full or bulging fontanel (soft spot located on the top of the head), excessive sleepiness compared to other infants of the same age, and excessive irritability or inability to be comforted compared to other infants of the same age


Diagnostic Tests

Radiology studies are typically ordered by the surgical team for diagnostic purposes and to plan your surgery. Some examples of these tests include:

Blood may be ordered to determine if you have a genetic disorder. Based on your family and medical history and your existing signs and symptoms, a geneticist will recommend the best type of chromosomal analysis or genetic test for you. The genetic test verifies whether your craniofacial disorder is associated with a genetic defect. Other blood tests may be ordered to rule out other possible causes for your cleft or craniofacial disorder.


Referrals and Consultations

The Barrow Cleft and Craniofacial Team may refer you to other specialists, such as cardiologists, endocrinologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, or pulmonologists, as needed. Because we employ a wide range of specialists, many issues and procedures can be addressed at our center.


How can we help?

For more information or to make an appointment with our cleft and craniofacial specialists, please call (602) 406-FACE (3223).

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Barrow Neurological Institute
350 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 406-3000