Ear Nose and Throat

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ENT Conditions We Treat

The Cleft and Craniofacial team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is a regional leader in the complex ENT surgeries sometimes needed for children with cleft and craniofacial conditions. Children with these health conditions often have differences in the anatomy of their ears, nose and throat. These differences can lead to challenges with activities of daily living, including eating, drinking, breathing and speaking. Our team is here to help your child live their fullest life possible.

Our team provides expert diagnosis and compassionate care for the full range of ENT conditions, including:

  • Anotia: This congenital (present at birth) condition causes the outside of a baby’s ear to be completely missing.
  • Craniofacial Microsomia (CFM): This condition causes differences in the development and appearance of the face and skull. Most babies born with CFM have a difference between the left and right sides of their face. Some babies born with CFM have an unusual appearance on both sides of their face.
  • Facial Microsomia: In this condition, a baby is born with structural differences in their face and skull — most notably unusual smallness.
  • Hemifacial Microsomia (HFM): Also called Goldenhar syndrome, a baby with this condition is born with structural differences in one-half of their face and skull — most notably unusual smallness on a single side.
  • Microtia: Babies born with this condition have an ear that is incomplete.
  • Nager Syndrome: With this rare condition, a baby is born with developmental problems that affect their face, hands and arms. Most notably, babies born with Nager syndrome typically have underdeveloped cheekbones and a very small lower jaw.
  • 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: This rare genetic condition occurs when a baby is born missing a piece of chromosome 22. Children with this condition may experience a cleft palate, heart abnormalities, ongoing infections and distinctive facial features. Other names for this condition include Velocardiofacial syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome. Visit our 22Q Multidisciplinary Clinic for more information.
  • Sleep Apnea: This condition interrupts breathing during sleep, and often causes snoring.

ENT Procedures We Offer

We are proud to offer the latest in research-backed ENT procedures and treatments for children with cleft and craniofacial conditions:


Adenoids are glands located at the back of the nasal cavity. When infected, adenoids can cause chronic earaches and trouble breathing through the nose. In severe cases, a surgeon may recommend a partial or total adenoidectomy to remove them.

Cochlear™ Baha® System Implants

If your child needs a cochlear implant to help improve hearing and communication, our craniofacial team’s Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists perform this procedure.

Cranial and Orbital Implants

Your child’s doctor may recommend they undergo a procedure to place cranial implants — small surgical metal implants that help smooth the appearance of a missing area of the face or skull. Orbital implants are specifically used around the eyes to help create a more typical appearance in children who have undergone surgeries or have a craniofacial condition.

Ear Reconstruction

If your child has a condition that affects the shape or appearance of their ear, the doctor may recommend ear reconstruction surgery to help create a more typical appearance for the affected ear.

Ear Tube Surgery

If your child needs ear tubes to open up the ear passages and help prevent ear infections, our craniofacial team’s Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists perform this procedure.

Implant-based Microtia or Anotia Repair

Serving as a replacement to rib cartilage procedures in some cases, implant-based reconstruction can treat children as young as age 4. During this procedure, the surgeon uses a surgical-grade implant to create the shape of your child’s missing or incomplete ear. This surgery gives the natural shape of an ear without removing rib cartilage.

Maxillary Distraction

In this treatment, your child’s specialist works to extend a small or recessed upper jaw, lower jaw or both. If your child has breathing challenges due to their jaw and face shape, their doctor may recommend this procedure to improve breathing.

Nasal Endoscopy

During this procedure, your child’s doctor uses an endoscope (thin, flexible, lighted tube) to carefully examine the nasal and sinus passages. The doctor can use nasal endoscopy to diagnose or treat a condition.

Nasal Pharyngoscopy for VPD

Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) is a condition where the muscles inside of your child’s mouth don't work properly. When children with this condition speak, air escapes through the nose and they can be very difficult to understand. This development causes speech difficulties and communication challenges. When your child learns to speak in a way that causes VPD, it is called functional VPD. Learn more about how we treat VPD.

Pediatric Rib Cartilage Procedure

If your child has microtia or anotia, their doctor may recommend this procedure. During this surgery, the surgeon typically takes a piece of cartilage from your child’s rib and uses it to shape the incomplete or missing ear. This surgery is usually performed on children 8 to 10 years old, once the rib cartilage is sturdy enough for the procedure.


Tonsils are soft pads of skin located in the back of the throat. When those pads repeatedly become infected or lead to sleep and breathing problems, surgeons can perform a tonsillectomy to remove them.


During this procedure, surgeons make an opening in the front of the neck (tracheostomy) to insert a tube to help a child breathe, usually when they are on a ventilator.

Treacher Collins Syndrome

This genetic disorder (caused by genes) leads to malformations in the head and face, which can cause breathing and feeding problems.

VPD Speech Therapy

Doctors may recommend speech therapy for some children. Our speech team can meet with your child in person or via telehealth. This program provides weekly specialized speech therapy for ear, nose, and throat patients.

To schedule an appointment, contact Kristen Deluca, MS, CCC-SLP, lead speech therapist, at 954-276-1552.

Additionally, our speech team can work with your local speech therapy provider if your child needs additional support to improve their speech.

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