In the craniofacial team at Boys Town, we have a number of different specialists helping to take care of kids who have cleft lip and palate, ear abnormalities, and other abnormalities of their face and skull. The model in our craniofacial team is that it's a multidisciplinary team of specialists from institutions and practices across the city. When a child and family comes to team they see, not only a plastic surgeon, but they see a geneticist, not only an oral maxillofacial surgeon, but they see an audiologist, a speech-language pathologist, an ENT doctor, a pediatrician, social worker, dietician, psychologist, you name it we provide those resources for the kids and families we serve.
“Give Kate the cake.”
“You got it, good job.”
We assemble the team and we see these children one morning a week and we have all the members of the team there. So they don't have to go to multiple appointments at multiple locations. They can come and see everyone in one place, get their feedback, and decide the next steps for care of their child. We follow over 500 children a year, some children we see several times a year, some children we see every year or two, really depending on their needs and depending on the level of concerns of the family. “Right side looks consistent.” We want to make an impact. We know we have an impact on families when they bring a child with a cleft lip and a cleft palate and we're able to surgically repair that. Beyond that we work with families across the state of Nebraska, seeing their children and helping them both with their appearance and their function, things like speech and hearing. And we really have an international impact as well, so we've seen children from as far away as China, we see children from Central America, you know, children who are now living in Nebraska oftentimes adopted by families here.
They both had similar situations but it was on the opposite sides and so we kind of played around with the idea that, you know, they kind of balanced each other out with their clefts. Okay yeah, Boys Town National Research Hospital, hey they do raniofacial, that's great but what does that mean, I don't know. Now we know it means everything.
The miraculous transformation after that first surgery if children have a cleft lip is, I mean, that's life-changing. And then, of course, even though that’s what people see on the outside is the child's appearance we're also very concerned to make sure that everything else is going well, their hearing and their speech, and their development. We do work together as a team to focus on all aspects of the child's care and then to work with their doctor at home, with their school district, with their dentist, with all the other community resources that exist to help care for these kids.
“By Bobby a puppy.”
“You got it, good job.”
They dfinitely walked us through, step at a time, what was going to happen and what's going to happen in the future. I mean, they don't just stop after surgery, it's not just like, oh yeah you're done, you're going to recover on your own. You have follow-up appointments and they call and make sure that everything's okay. We went from a period where you kind of wondered, are they going to be able to speak? Are they going to be able to develop language? And now they have no problem speaking, there's plenty of speaking going on in the house now. “His facial bones look good.” I could not imagine doing it without Boys Town. This is not easy but it's doable. I mean we have the support, we have the resources, to make these kids lives amazing and then that in turn makes our lives amazing. The work in the craniofacial team exemplifies the mission of Boys Town. We change the way that we care for these kids. We change the way that these kids are going to grow up in their families. And you know in that way, we serve the mission of Boys Town, which is to change the way America cares for children and families.
The Craniofacial Team at Boys Town National Research Hospital offers coordinated interdisciplinary care for a wide range of craniofacial anomalies in a family-friendly environment.