Welcome to

This site features articles and information produced weekly by the experts at CHOC Children's and CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital in partnership with the Orange County Register.

Health Feature: Cleft Palate Repair

Cleft Palate SpreadWhat Parents Need to Know About Cleft Palate Repair

Cleft lip and cleft palate are craniofacial anomalies of the mouth and lip that occur early in utero when the sides of the lip and the roof of the mouth do not fuse together as they should. A child can have cleft lip or a cleft palate, or both. “Most kids have both,” says Dr. Toranto, a plastic surgeon and craniofacial specialist at CHOC. “A cleft palate leaves an opening in the mouth that also affects the normal positioning of the muscles that we use for speech and swallowing.” Fortunately, the current treatment of cleft palate is very effective and offers children full functional restoration. Learn more about how surgery can make a lifelong difference in the life of a child and their family.

Read Full Article | View PDF

Tips for Feeding Babies with Cleft Palates

Dr. Jason Toranto, a CHOC plastic surgeon and craniofacial specialist, and Sharon Vargas, a case manager and nurse specialist, recently stopped by Seacrest Studios to discuss the challenges of feeding infants with cleft palates.

Many malformations or injuries – even the most complex – can be repaired, allowing children to enjoy a normal, healthy future. The pediatric plastic surgery team at CHOC is here to expertly guide patients and their families through every stage of treatment and healing. Learn more at