Cleft and Facial Anomalies Service

The multidisciplinary Cleft and Facial Anomalies Service at Monash Children’s Hospital provides expert assessment and treatment for children with anomalies of the face and head.

Phone: (03) 9594 6666

To support the Cleft and Facial Anomalies Service at
Monash Children’s Hospital:

About us

The multidisciplinary Cleft and Facial Anomalies Service at Monash Children’s Hospital provides expert assessment and treatment for children with anomalies of the face and head.

Our service involves an array of specialists from many fields, whose interest is the assessment, diagnosis and care of children born with facial and cranial anomalies from birth through to their adult years.

We support these children with management of their appearance, speech, hearing, dentition and psychological assistance. The combined service gives parents and their children the opportunity to meet and discuss all aspects of cleft care and support with other patients and parents. Our clinic works closely with Cleftpals Victoria ( which provides social support for parents of children born with cleft and other facial anomalies.

The service began in 1987 when the Queen Victoria Hospital transferred to the Clayton campus of Monash Medical Centre.


The Cleft and Facial Anomalies Clinic is held on Wednesday afternoons twice each month.

Cleft care is optimised because the multidisciplinary service allows patients full assessment by an expert team of health professionals who coordinate management plans and surgical interventions at one hospital visit.

The members of this experienced team include paediatric plastic surgeons undertaking both cleft surgery and craniofacial surgery, oral surgeons, orthodontists, paediatric dentists, ear, nose and throat surgeons, speech therapists, audiologists and our dedicated cleft care coordinator.

Clinical geneticists and genetic counsellors also attend the clinic and antenatal consultations can be arranged by liaising with our cleft care coordinator.

Treatment modalities include primary cleft lip and cleft palate repair, speech pathology assessment and therapy (including surgery for speech – pharyngoplasty), hearing tests and surgical management of hearing loss. Alveolar bone graft surgery, orthognathic surgery for jaw alignment, orthodontic and dental care for dental alignment, nasal reconstruction surgery (rhinoplasty) and secondary cleft lip and palate surgery are also offered.

Our dedicated cleft care coordinator receives referrals of new patients and will facilitate timely appointments to the Cleft Clinic based on urgency. She is available to contact by parents and referring practitioners for advice on cleft related issues and gives support to patients and parents both before and after any treatment interventions, including surgery.

An ongoing review of our cleft patients is recommended at regular intervals when patients reach various age milestones to ensure that their facial growth and development is optimised. Timing of treatments can be crucial and each patient’s management plan and therapy schedule is individually planned and modified depending on their needs.

For more information see our Fact Sheets – Your baby has a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.


Referrals are accepted from registered Dental and Medical Practitioners and Consultants in relevant medical and surgical disciplines. Liaison through the Cleft Care coordinator is encouraged for appropriate timing and management of patients.  The Cleft Care Coordinator can be contacted directly on (03) 9594 7740 or 0400 822 351.

Phone: 1300 342 273
Fax: 9594 2273

Phone: ext. 49888
Fax: (03) 9594 2273

Eligibility criteria
People with cleft lip or palate and other congenital craniofacial anomalies and those with related conditions including speech, dental and hearing difficulties associated with cleft palate or craniofacial anomalies are eligible for our services.

There is no cost to patients eligible for Medicare. Patients ineligible for Medicare will be charged a fee for all services provided.


 Plastic Surgery

Mr Chris Bennett – Head of Cleft Service, cleft surgeon
Mr David Ross – cleft surgeon
Mr James Leong – cleft surgeon
Mr Charles Baillieu – craniofacial surgeon

Oral Surgery

Mr Chris Poon – Head of Oral Surgery
Mr William Besly
Mr Brian McMillan
Mr Ricky Kumar


Dr Tony Collett
Dr Jeff Lipshatz
Dr Pantea Makhmalbaf

Speech Pathology

Ms Janella Christie
Ms Sarah Florisson

Cleft Care Coordinator

Tania Green
Phone: (03) 9594 7740 or 0400 822 351

The Cleft Team is also supported by Audiology, Dentistry, ENT Surgery and Genetics, as representatives of these professional disciplines regularly attend the Cleft Clinic.

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