Our Approach to Diagnosis

A pediatrician who specializes in identifying and treating craniofacial conditions will start with a physical exam to diagnose your child. Because of our team’s experience, often a careful exam is all that is needed to make the diagnosis.

Our patients’ conditions range from cleft palate to rare syndromes that affect the shape of the head and face. We have likely diagnosed and taken care of someone with your child’s condition, no matter how complex.

Our experience with craniofacial conditions helps us find problems early and take steps to prevent or treat them. As we care for your child, we look for problems that may develop with breathing, feeding, speaking or increased pressure in the skull. Our providers are board certified in pediatrics, with extra training and years of experience caring for kids.

We only do tests that we feel are medically needed. To confirm many conditions, your doctor will order a CT (computed tomography) scan. If your child’s condition may be caused by a genetic syndrome, we may recommend genetic counseling and testing. A small blood sample is needed for the test.

Need a diagnosis?

Need a second opinion?

If you need a second opinion, please contact us. Many of the children we treat received their initial care at another hospital.

We will work with you to understand what you are looking for in the visit. Afterward, we will partner with you to determine next steps.

Make an appointment.

Diagnostic Tools and Services

These tools, lab tests and services help us make a diagnosis for your child, plan their treatment and work with you to make the right choices for your family:

  • Our doctors use 3-D CT (computed tomography) scans to create 3-D images of children with craniosynostosis, craniofacial microsomia and other conditions that affect the skull and facial bones. The 3-D images help doctors accurately diagnose your child’s condition and plan the best treatment.

    A CT scan is a special type of X-ray used to make pictures of your child’s head and face. The noninvasive tests include:

    • Fine-cut CT to show very thin slices of your child’s body
    • Cone-beam CT to make 3-D images of your child’s jaw and teeth

    We use the least amount of radiation possible while making the best image. For example, we use a very low dose of radiation for CT scans if we mostly need information about your child’s bones and not their soft tissue.

    Learn more about 3-D imaging.

  • Our Craniofacial Genetics Clinic helps identify craniofacial conditions caused by changes in genes.

    Our geneticists and genetic counselors can advise you about the benefits and limits of genetic testing and explain the test results. Understanding your child’s condition can help you make informed decisions about their treatment.

    In some craniofacial conditions, having one child with the condition increases the risk in future pregnancies. Our genetic counselors can talk with you about the chance of having another child with a similar condition.

    Learn more about our Craniofacial Genetics Clinic.

  • If a routine ultrasound during pregnancy shows that your baby has a craniofacial condition such as cleft lip, we help you understand treatment options that will be possible after birth. We teach you ways to feed your baby so they thrive.

    Learn more about how prenatal counseling can help you prepare to care for your child.

Contact Us

Contact the Craniofacial Center at 206-987-2208 for an appointment, a second opinion or more information. We welcome calls from families, whether you live near Seattle or far away.