What Seattle Children’s Measures and Why

The Craniofacial Center tracks the number of patients we care for and the surgeries we perform each year to help you make informed decisions about your child’s treatment. We also use this information to improve the quality of care we provide.

Our team has more combined experience treating craniofacial conditions than any other center in the United States. Seeing a large number of children with craniofacial conditions helps us to continually improve our care. No matter how rare the condition, we have likely cared for someone like your child.

When choosing a craniofacial center to care for your child, we encourage you to ask how many patients they have seen with your child’s condition and how many surgeries they have performed.

Many families consider national rankings in choosing medical care for their children. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Seattle Children’s Neurosurgery program #1 in the Northwest, and among the best nationally. Our craniofacial plastic surgeons work with our neurosurgeons on many craniofacial procedures.

Read more about Seattle Children’s Craniofacial Center.

Craniofacial Center Patient Volumes

Total number of patients, 2012–2016


In the past 5 years, our craniofacial team has cared for 11,615 patients. These include children with common problems like cleft palate and complex syndromes that affect the shape of the head and face.

Number of craniofacial patients by selected diagnoses, 2012–2016

This chart shows the number of children receiving care from our Craniofacial Center team over the past 5 years in 5 main categories.

Isolated cleft lip and/or palate (not part of a syndrome)
Syndromic cleft lip and palate
Isolated craniosynostosis (not part of a syndrome)
Syndromic craniosynostosis
Jaw and ear anomalies

Number of new patients by selected craniofacial diagnoses, 2016

This chart shows the number of patients who came to our Craniofacial Center for the first time in 2016 to receive care for conditions in 5 main categories.

Isolated cleft lip and/or palate (not part of a syndrome)
Syndromic cleft lip and palate
Isolated craniosynostosis
Syndromic craniosynostosis
Jaw and ear anomalies

Craniofacial Center Procedure Volumes, 2012–2016

Seattle Children’s has more surgeons specializing in clefting than any other craniofacial center in the country. We perform more surgeries for cleft lip and palate than any hospital in the region that includes Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.

This chart shows the 4 most common types of surgeries the Craniofacial Center team performs.

Intracranial procedures
Cleft palate surgery
Cleft lip repair
Alveolar bone graft
  • Intracranial procedures expand and shape the skull to give the brain room to grow.
  • Cleft palate surgery repairs a gap in the roof of the mouth.
  • Cleft lip repair closes a gap in the lips.
  • Alveolar bone graft repairs the part of the upper jaw that holds the teeth.

Read about craniofacial surgery at Seattle Children’s.

Where does this information come from?

These charts reflect patient volumes and selected surgical statistics from 2012 to 2016. This page was last updated in May 2017.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Talk with your child’s doctor or contact the Craniofacial Center at 206-987-2208.

Statistics and Outcomes: What do they mean?

Statistics, outcomes, volumes, survival rates – these numbers may seem overwhelming at first, but they can help you choose the best place for your child’s care.