What is the Craniofacial Genetics Clinic?

At the Craniofacial Genetics Clinic, you can learn more about possible genetic causes of a medical condition that affects your child’s head and face.

  • Some craniofacial conditions are caused by a change (mutation) in a single gene. Other times they happen because of changes in chromosomes (the structures in our cells that hold the genes).
  • Sometimes a child inherits an abnormal gene from one or both parents. Other times a new genetic change causes a condition.
  • In some conditions, both genetic and environmental factors play a role.
  • Sometimes the cause is not known.

Knowing more about possible genetic causes of your child’s condition may guide you in making decisions about:

  • Future pregnancies
  • Your child’s medical care

Our goal is to help you make informed medical and personal decisions.

Who can benefit from genetic counseling?

  • Families who have a child with a craniofacial condition that has not been diagnosed. We work to diagnose specific genetic conditions. We give you information about your child’s condition and help you find resources in your community.
  • Parents of children with a single birth defect, such as cleft lip or palate. We explain the chance of having another child with that birth defect.
  • Parents of children with more than one birth defect. We work to diagnose the condition that is causing the differences.
  • Parents of children with a known diagnosis. Genetic counseling can help you understand how the condition is passed on. We talk about the chance of passing it on in future pregnancies. We explain the pros and cons of genetic testing and talk about reproductive options.
  • Children or young adults with genetic conditions. We recommend genetic counseling before age 21 to help with future family planning.
  • Any patient or family that chooses to have genetic testing. We explain the test results.

Why choose Seattle Children’s Craniofacial Genetics Clinic?

Our team has expertise in both genetics and craniofacial conditions.

Our 2 board-certified medical geneticists have more than 20 years of combined experience working with patients.

Our licensed genetic counselor has more than 10 years of experience.

  • Penny Chow, MS, CGC

New information about genetics is being discovered all the time. To give you the most up-to-date information on risk factors and tests, we stay on top of the latest research. We partner with researchers in Craniofacial Medicine and Genetic Medicine at the University of Washington Medical School.

Do I need a referral?

You may make an appointment on your own or ask your doctor to refer you. Call 206-987-2208.

Contact Us

Contact the Craniofacial Center at 206-987-2208 for an appointment, a second opinion or more information.