We are one of the highest volume craniofacial centres in the world and have long-term experience of treating children with craniofacial conditions.
Our team are invested in your child’s health and development, and we will support your child and your family through the journey.
As children with craniofacial conditions can present with complex symptoms, we adopt a holistic approach to the care of our patients, ensuring the best quality of care every step of the way. As such, we have a multidisciplinary team of experts from various specialties.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Plastic Surgeons
- Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons
- Clinical Geneticists
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Clinical Psychologists
- Paediatric Dentists
- Respiratory Physicians
- In-house Orthotic Helmet Therapists
- Ophthalmic Surgeons
Your child will see some or all of these professionals at various points in your journey.
Children with craniosynostosis will receive speech and language and neurodevelopmental assessments at strategic timepoints throughout their childhood. This allows us to monitor their progress and identify when extra support is required.
Some children will also see our Clinical Geneticist at a separate consultation to discuss the diagnosis, arrange further tests and considerations for the future.
When your child reaches the age of 16 years old, they can choose to transition to the Adult Services based in Aintree University Hospitals or Walton Neurosurgery Centre. At both these hospitals, it will be the same team of surgeons who will look after you. Hence, you will receive continuity of care all the way through your lifetime.
At Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Unit, we invest the highest quality of care to all our patients and ensure parents, families and carers are supported all the way through their child’s journey.
Patient & Family Resources
There are many resources on the internet which describe various craniofacial condition. If you would like to learn more about your child’s condition or hear other children’s journeys, please visit the UK Charity, Headlines on www.headlines.org.uk which has a wealth of information and links to help support you and your family through your child’s journey.
Other website which may be of interest include:
How To Refer
Please send referrals via post or email to our pathway coordinators at: [email protected]
Contact us for any queries. We may ask you to take photos of your child’s headshape. Please view the following instructions on taking photos of your child’s headshape.
When to Refer and Timing of Surgery
Babies should be referred as soon as an abnormality of the baby’s head shape is suspected, and this may even be at the time of birth. Some craniosynostosis can be treated within the first few months of life. At Alder Hey Craniofacial Unit, through decades of experience and assessment of long-term outcomes, we propose various operations within certain time windows of a child’s life.
An early surgery when the child is below 6 months of age, or a later surgery between 18-24 months old. The earlier surgery can either be endoscopic surgery or a passive vault surgery, both of which are smaller and shorter operations compared to the later surgery which is a larger operation.
Approximate time scales are:
- 3 to 4 months old: Endoscopic strip craniectomy with helmet therapy for at least 12 months
- 4 to 5 months old: Strip craniectomy and micro-barrel staving/Passive vault remodelling
- 18 to 24 months old: Total calvarial remodelling
Trigonocephaly & Unicoronal synostosis
An early endoscopic surgery when the child is below 6 months of age or a larger surgery involving remodelling and advancing of the front of the skull and forehead at 18-24 months old.
Surgery involving remodelling the back of the head at 18-24 months old
Multiple sutures fused
Your child will be assessed by a team of experts who will assess the benefits and risks of surgery and discuss the various options available to you and your child
If there are any queries, please feel free to contact our team.
Ways To Help
We welcome any private donations to our Research Team. This can greatly assist us in launching studies to help understand the causes and best treatments for craniofacial patients in the UK and internationally. Email us to learn how you can support our Craniofacial Research Team and the wider Craniofacial Community.
Number of positions: 1
Surgical specialties eligible to apply: Neurosurgery, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Duration: 1 year
Site: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
Principle supervisor: Mr Christopher Parks
The Alder Hey Children’s Craniofacial Fellowship is a 12-month fellowship. The start date for the next post is November 2023 but is negotiable dependant on candidate suitability. The fellowship is designed to deliver a structured program, allowing the individual to become familiar with all aspects of paediatric craniofacial surgery. Doctors trained within neurosurgery, maxillofacial surgery and plastic surgery are eligible to apply.
The appointed fellow will be immersed in a hands-on experience and will have the opportunity to integrate in a multi-disciplinary team. All aspects of paediatric craniofacial surgery will be covered: simple and complex craniosynostosis, facial dysmorphisms, encephaloceles, orbital dysostosis, oculo-auricular-vertebral syndrome (craniofacial microsomia), orthognathic planning, facial clefts, microtia, temporo-mandibular disorders. In addition, there will be opportunities to participate in theatre activity within the adult sectors for adult craniofacial cases, including cranioplasty, tissue expander insertions, pan-facial trauma, orthognathic surgery.
The fellow is expected to participate in: on call, teaching responsibilities, participate fully in surgeries and clinics and conduct the weekly multidisciplinary team meetings. It is also expected that the fellow initiate and complete a research project for the 12-month period.
The Craniofacial Fellowship is recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons and the Surgical Advisory Committee of UK. Applications are reviewed on an individual basis and applied directly to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Trust. The post is advertised on NHS Jobs http://www.jobs.nhs.uk annually. A salary of £50,000 – £65,000 per annum + on-calls is administered. The fellow is responsible for all other expenses and accommodation.
We welcome fellows from all parts of the world. The Alder Hey Children’s Craniofacial Fellowship is a unique fellowship which offers significant hands-on experience and exposure to multiple specialists, including neurosurgeons, maxillofacial surgeons and plastic surgeons. It is one of the highest volume craniofacial centres internationally. We are a dynamic and dedicated team who work together cohesively. This fellowship is suited for anyone who wants to pursue a career in craniofacial surgery and/or want to develop skills in managing craniofacial deformity and trauma.
If you require any further information, contact us on: [email protected]
The Alder Hey Craniofacial Team consists of a dedicated group of nurse specialists, clinicians, and surgeons. We are here to support you, your child, and your family through this journey.
We welcome calls from families, general practitioners, or any other healthcare professionals for all types of craniofacial conditions.
For referrals or any further information, please contact us at: