Cleft Lip/Nose

Partner with one of the most recognized ENT / Facial Plastics teams in the Midwest to repair cleft lip and cleft palate.

A child born with a cleft lip and palate can be an overwhelming experience for parents, siblings, and relatives. Cleft lip and palate congenital abnormalities are one of most common birth defects affecting approximately 1 in 750 births in the U.S. Although the diagnosis is frequently made by ultrasound during pregnancy, at times it is not discovered until birth. It is important to partner with a team of skilled and caring physicians who will help navigate you and your child through the process of correcting this condition and improving your child’s quality of life.

Expert Care

Dr. Christopher Tolan is a Midwest leader in the treatment of cleft lip and palate congenital deformities. He is also an active member of the Cleft Lip and Palate panel, which is held at St. Paul Children’s Hospital and Clinics on a monthly basis. In addition, he has traveled with the medical missions Love Without Boundaries (LWB), Children’s Surgery International (CSI), and Operation Hope; all volunteer organizations dedicated to providing surgical management for children and adults who have cleft lip and palate congenital malformations.

Treatment of Cleft Lip and Palate

The treatment of Cleft Lip and Palate typically involves an outline for a staged approach to management. This initially consists of presurgical orthopedics or Nasoalveolar Molding. Usually this is started within the first weeks of life and helps improve the alignment of the lip, nose and palate. It is generally continued for a period of 12-16 weeks. The first stage in surgical repair is then undertaken and consists of placing ear tubes and repairing the lip. Repair of the palate is usually delayed until 9-12 months of age. It is not unusual for some children to undergo intermediate procedures in an effort to restore a more normal appearance.

Utilizing a multidisciplinary cleft team approach including the cleft palate and lip surgeons, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons and restorative dentists helps manage some of the complex issues that may arise. Dr. Tolan will work directly with your medical team to ensure the best outcomes for your child and your family.


  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Congenital malformations


  • Improved appearance of cleft lip and palate
  • Improved function mouth
  • Improved function of nose
  • Improved confidence

Learn More with a Consultation

Are you interested in learning more about Vadnais Heights, Eagan & Woodbury Cleft Palate & Cleft Lip Surgery? Schedule a consultation with our staff to find out if it is right for you.


Before + After Results

View before and after photos of surgeries performed by facial plastic surgeons Dr. Christopher Tolan, Dr. Garrett Griffin, Dr. Zachary Farhood and Dr. Anna Bakeman in Minneapolis, MN.