Watch a video about Sophia, a little girl who has undergone treatment at SSM Cardinal Glennon for her cleft lip and palate. Click here or scroll to the bottom of the page.
Unique human qualities
Our appearance and ability to speak are unique human qualities that allow us to interact with others. This interaction is critical for children, as they are still developing their social identities and communication skills.
Children born with cleft lip-nose-palate and craniofacial conditions often have problems with appearance and speech. A pediatric plastic surgeon trained in craniofacial surgery can reshape the bones of the skull, face, and jaws to improve appearance and function, as well as the cartilage and soft tissues of the face, eyelids, ears, nose, lips, palate, and tongue.
The goal of St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Cetner is to improve the unique human elements of the child: to look more normal, to have more normal speech, and to be able to function more normally in their growth and development.
Finding the best solutions, for individual needs
Each child is different and so each cleft or craniofacial diagnosis is also different. We are committed through every step, from evaluation, consultation, and innovation, to work for your child's individual needs.
A caring team to best care for your child
The St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center is directed by Dr. Alexander Y. Lin with Dr. Christina Plikaitis, plastic surgeons who specialize in cleft-craniofacial surgery, and Debbie Watters, our clinical nurse coordinator.
A multidisciplinary team approach includes our Head Shape Clinic with a physical therapist to work on neck muscle problems (torticollis), and the St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center with a full team including Speech Language Pathology specialist for evaluating and treating speech issues.
Open and direct communication
It's important for parents to understand their child's condition as completely as possible. Communicating with parents and children in a clear-cut and understandable way is an essential part of our mission.
We are designated an Affiliated Team by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA), the governing association of cleft-craniofacial centers.
Conditions we treat
Our multidisciplinary cleft and craniofacial team allows for your child to see multiple specialists for comprehensive care of these complex conditions.
Cleft Lip and Palate
Complex Craniofacial Syndromes
In situ Osteogenesis
Cleft Lip Repair
Cleft Palate Repair
Pharyngeal Flap/Sphincter Pharyngoplasty
American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association
Cleft Palate Foundation
Cleft Palate Feeding Video from the Cleft Palate Foundation
If you need bottles, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Team
Alexander Y. Lin, MD, FACS, FAAP - Director, St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center
Christina Plikaitis, MD - Pediatric Plastic Surgeon
Debbie Watters, RN, BS - Clinical Nurse Coordinator (email)
Sarah Duncan, MS, CCC-A
Julie McAllister, MS, CCC-A
Maria Cabonce, MS, CCC-A
Carole Mange, AuD, CCC-A
Laura Ortmann, M.S., CCC-A
Kenny Marciniak, AuD, CCC-A
Gus Sotiropoulos, DDS
Donald Oliver, DDS, MS
Jim Klarsch DDS, MS
Denise Broeker, RN, BSN, IBCLC
Loretta Laurent, MS, CCC/SLP
Stephen Braddock, MD
Director of Pediatric Genetics
Katherine Christensen, MS
Sue Stuppy, OTR
John Stith, MD
Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT)
Alicia McGlaughlin, MSN, RN, CPNP
Laura Misuraca, RN
Joel Nadler, PhD
Shalini Paruthi, MD
Director of the Pediatric Sleep and Research Center
To make a cleft lip/palate or craniofacial appointment, please call 314-577-5368.