What to Expect
Learn what to expect and how to prepare for your child’s first Craniofacial Center visit. Get answers to some common questions.
Things to do before your appointment
- Ask your child’s primary care provider to fax us records about your child’s overall health and growth. Our fax number is 206-985-3121.
- Provide any test results related to your child’s condition, including CT (computed tomography) scans and X-rays. Bring copies from your child’s doctor or ask the doctor to fax them. This avoids repeating tests.
Learn more about what to do before your appointment.
What happens during a clinic visit?
- At the first visit, a craniofacial pediatrician will examine your child. Because of our team’s experience, often a careful exam is all that is needed to make the diagnosis.
- The doctor will explain your child’s diagnosis and plan their overall care. If your child is old enough to understand, the doctor will make sure to talk to your child about what is going to happen next.
- At most visits, your child will be weighed and measured.
- A medical photographer will ask to take photos for your child’s medical record. This helps show how your child changes with time and after surgeries.
- You will visit with your craniofacial nurse to start learning about your child’s care. The nurse also coordinates appointments.
- You will meet with a social worker, who helps your family deal with the challenges of your child’s condition. The social worker connects you to support services and helps plan for a hospital stay.
- You may meet with a surgeon during your first visit, if information from your family doctor has let us know your child’s diagnosis.
- Your child may see other specialists during their visit, depending on their age and needs. Learn more about the Craniofacial Center team.
- To confirm the diagnosis for some children, we may recommend testing their blood or spit to look for changes in genes. Learn more about our Craniofacial Genetics Clinic.
- During your visit we try to answer all of your questions. Please ask if anything is not clear.
- Each provider who sees your child will record a clinic note that will be part of your child’s chart. We will send a copy to your primary care provider.
How long is a visit?
- We schedule your child’s appointments so they can see as many specialists in 1 day as possible.
- Most children have 3 appointments, but your child may have only 1 or as many as 7. Our goal is to provide personal, coordinated care from the specialists your child needs.
- You will have some waiting time throughout the day. You may want to bring a snack or visit the nearby hospital cafeteria.
What to bring
- Test results related to your child’s condition, if your primary care provider has not sent them already. This includes CT scans and X-rays.
- Photos of your child’s head if it has an unusual shape, so we can see how your child’s head shape has changed over time. It also helps to see photos of any other family members with a head shape similar to your child’s.
- Medicines or a list of them. Include nonprescription items like vitamins. Include the name, dose and instructions.
- Forms you need to have signed by our providers. For example, any school forms.
- Snacks for your child in case the appointment lasts longer than expected.
After the appointment
We will make sure you leave the appointment with detailed instructions about what will happen next.
You can reach our nurses between clinic visits at 206-987-1117.
Once we have information from all the providers who saw your child at their first visit, we will contact you to make the next appointment.
How to find out about test results
We will call you with test results. If you are a MySeattleChildrens member, you can check online for some of your results.
How to cancel or reschedule an appointment
- If you won’t be able to attend an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. That way we can offer the appointment to another child.
- Call 206-987-2208.
Preparing your child
Knowing what to expect can help your child be less afraid of a clinic visit.
We have tips for preparing your child for a clinic visit.
Directions, parking and entering
Get maps and directions to Seattle Children’s hospital campus.
Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.
Preparing for Surgery
Preparing your child and yourself for surgery may help reduce your family’s stress during this time.
- Learn more about what to expect if your child is having surgery.
- If your child is having surgery for craniosynostosis, watch this video to see how we care for your child and you during their surgery.
Preparing for a Hospital Stay
- See tips on Where to Turn When Preparing for Your Child’s Hospital Stay from Ashley Peters, a social worker in the Craniofacial Center.
- Find out what you need to know about your child’s hospital stay.
- Learn about hospital campus amenities.
Paying for Care
Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.