Patient and visitor guides


Jargon buster

cleft lip and palate

A cleft lip is a gap in the upper lip and a cleft palate is a gap in the roof of the mouth. This condition sometimes run in families. Find out more about this condition at NHS Choices.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Cleft Lip and Palate

The Cleft Lip and Palate team provides specialised care, treatment and support for babies, children and adults with cleft lip and palate.

We offer a comprehensive service for patients and families from across the North East of England, which includes alveolar bone graft surgery.

Experienced team

Our service is operated by a nationally-regarded and experienced team of specialists from a range of clinical disciplines, including:

  • surgeons
  • speech and language therapists
  • psychologists
  • specialist nurses
  • dental professionals
  • medical photographers.

In 2014, Mr Peter Hodgkinson, Consultant Plastic Surgeon with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, carried out his 1,000th baby cleft operation.

Innovative treatment

We use our high level of specialist experience to take an innovative approach to the treatments we provide.

We use new, as well as proven technologies and techniques to treat people with cleft problems. For example, for some lip wounds we use glue rather than stitches. This means that patients don’t need further anaesthetic to have their stitches removed.

You can find out more about the treatment in our short film below, called 'Easing the first few hours':

 'Easing the first few hours' information film for parents of children with cleft palates or lips.

Services where you need them

The Cleft Lip and Palate Service is based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Our patients come from across the North East so we also work with smaller, local hospitals to hold outreach clinics so you don’t have to travel so far. You can speak to your doctor about clinics available near you, or visit our Northern and Yorkshire Joint Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic webpage.

We aim to provide the highest quality treatment, care and support to our patients and their families, and we do all we can to achieve this. If you have any suggestions for how we can improve our service, please contact us.

More information

Useful webpages

Contact us

For more information about the Newcastle Hospitals Cleft Lip and Palate Service, please contact us.

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