Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Australian Craniofacial Unit - Craniofacial Clinic

Australian Craniofacial Unit

Craniofacial Clinic

The Australian Craniofacial Unit believes that a multidisciplinary approach is the cornerstone of patient care and provides the best outcome for patients with Craniofacial disorders. This approach gives an opportunity for all aspects of patient care to be considered when making decisions regarding future treatment and resultant outcomes. The Craniofacial Clinic provides the forum for this process to occur.

What is the Craniofacial Clinic?

The Clinic is a forum or meeting to allow all people involved with a patient to give their assessments and/or opinions on the treatment of the patient attending the clinic, and to allow patients or parents to ask any questions about the treatment or management.

Why have a Craniofacial Clinic?

The Clinic provides an opportunity for any of the people involved in the present or future management of a patient with a Craniofacial disorder to share information, e.g. to give an assessment of the patient, suggest a treatment programme, determine the timing of future treatment, to clarify any difficulties or differences which may arise from different assessments. In this way everyone involved with the patient is fully informed about their total management.

The Clinic provides the opportunity for patients/parents to make sure they understand what will be happening  with regard to treatments, treatment outcomes, time of treatments etc. or to ask any questions about anything which has not been covered.

Where is the Clinic held?

At the Craniofacial Unit of the Women's and Children's Hospital.

How frequently are clinics held?

Clinics are held twice a month.

Do I have to attend every month?

No. Patients only attend a Clinic when their case is to be reviewed. The frequency of Clinics for each patient depends on their current treatment plan and when it is to be reviewed – usually about once per year.

Who can attend the Clinic?

The Patient. It is essential that the patient is present at the Clinic.

Parents and caregivers of the patient concerned.

All people (or their representative) involved in the assessment and treatment of the patient attending the clinic.

Parents may also invite any other interested person/s to assist them or support them in their understanding of the Craniofacial disorder or the treatment involved.

How does the Clinic run?

In the weeks before the Clinic appointment:

A series of appointments are made with various specialists. The specialists will assess the patient’s progress and suggest possible treatment .

The Administrative Staff of the Craniofacial Unit are an integral part of the team and will make every effort to co-ordinate appointments for the patient, answer any queries and generally assist wherever necessary.

On the day of the Clinic appointment:

Each patient is allocated a 15 minute appointment – but more time will be taken if necessary.

Everyone who has assessed the patient gives a report of the assessment and treatment possibilities. These assessments are discussed by the clinic to clarify any problems which may alter the eventual treatment or the timing involved. These reports are discussed before the patient is present to enable the reports to be summarized for the patient.

The patient and support persons are then given a verbal summary of the reports and have an opportunity to ask any questions about patient care (Parents will also have had an opportunity to ask questions and clarify concerns at the longer appointments earlier in the week).

As a result of this discussion there may be a review of treatment or the timing of the treatment.

The Clinic is therefore the opportunity to voice concerns, check on times, and clear up anything at all that is not understood or may appear to have changed.

A written record is kept of each clinic appointment and a summary can be made available to the referring doctor.

What disciplines are involved at the Craniofacial Unit?

Any of the following may be involved in the assessment and/or treatment of patients attending the Craniofacial Unit.

  • Craniofacial Surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • ENT Surgeon
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Medical Geneticist
  • Anaesthetist
  • Paediatric Chest and Sleep Physician
  • Radiologist
  • Social Worker
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Cardiologist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Dentist
  • Orthodontist
  • Nursing Staff
  • Secretarial Staff and Voluntary Workers.

last modified: 20 Dec 2019