What to Expect

If you are scheduled to visit the Craniofacial Clinic - for a test, a procedure or surgery - you'll want to come prepared.

In this section, we'll help you find out what to expect before, during and after a visit and get the answers to some common questions.

Craniofacial Clinic

You most likely have many questions about Children's and how to prepare your child for their clinic visit. Get more information about your child's clinic visit, including:

  • Important things to do before the appointment
  • Tips on helping your child feel safer about the upcoming visit
  • Paperwork to remember the day of the appointment
  • Suggested questions to ask your child's doctor
  • How to prepare for care at home

What happens during a clinic visit?

After check-in, your child's medical assistant (MA) will take you and your child to an exam room. Next, depending on the reason for the clinic visit, members of the Craniofacial team will see your child.

How long will I be at the hospital for my appointment?

Your child's appointments are scheduled to allow your child to see as many specialists in one day as possible. Although this can make for a long day, for many families this is much easier and faster than having to go to separate doctors' offices on different days.

The clinic meets on Mondays starting at 9 a.m. About 70 children are seen every Monday at the clinic. Each child has one to seven appointments, with the average being three.

This is a busy clinic, but the goal is to provide personal, coordinated multidisciplinary care. You can expect to have some waiting time throughout the day.

Where do I go for my appointment?

Directions to Seattle Children's Hospital will be mailed with your appointment reminder notice. When you get here, use Ocean parking, and enter through one of the Ocean entrances. Register at the level 8 entrance desk.

The child's legal guardian will be asked to sign a consent form that allows Seattle Children's to provide care. Your address, phone number and insurance information will also be verified, and you will be given a set of stickers with your child's name on them.

From there, you will be directed to the Craniofacial Clinic.

Whom will I see during my appointment?

At the first clinic visit, a craniofacial pediatrician will examine your child, explain the diagnosis and plan overall care. You will also have a visit with the craniofacial nurse to coordinate appointments and to begin specific education about care.

Finally, you will have an appointment with a social worker, who provides such things as psychological support, access to support services and planning for a hospital stay. Learn more about social workers at the Craniofacial Center.

Other specialty providers will be scheduled on the same day based on your child's age and medical needs. If your family doctor has provided enough information before the clinic to allow us to know the diagnosis, you may meet with a surgeon during your first visit.

At most visits, your child will be weighed and measured. A medical photographer will ask to take photos for the medical record in order to provide visual documentation of how your child changes with time and after surgeries.

Each provider who sees your child will dictate a clinic note that will be part of your child's chart, and a copy will be sent to your primary care provider.

Learn more about your child's care team.

When do I make return appointments?

Return appointments are made after the clinic visit, once we have input from all the providers.

Always feel free to call your child's Craniofacial Clinic scheduler if you are waiting for the next appointment or if you believe it is time to return to the clinic.

Nurses can be reached by phone to answer questions between clinic visits at 206-987-2188.


Preparing your child and yourself for their surgery may help reduce your family's stress during this time.

Our team is committed to helping children who need surgery and their families cope well with the experience. We want you to know what's going to happen each step of the way.

Learn more about what to expect if your child is having surgery, including:

  • What to do once surgery is scheduled
  • Tips to help your child feel safer about the surgery
  • What to bring the day of surgery
  • What to expect the day of surgery
  • Helpful questions to ask your child's doctor
  • How to prepare for care at home

Find out what you need to know about your child's stay at Children's, including:

  • Things to do before your child's arrival
  • Preparing your child for a hospital stay
  • What to expect during your child's stay
  • Helpful questions to ask your child's doctor
  • Information to help you after your child has been discharged