The Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children and teens with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related medical care.
UChicago Medicine Craniofacial Anomalies Multidisciplinary Program (CAMP)
The Craniofacial Anomalies Multidisciplinary Program (CAMP) at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital is one of the largest craniofacial programs in the region. We are nationally accredited by the American Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and staffed by Chicago's largest pediatric neurosurgery group as well as renowned experts in pediatric plastic surgery, genetics and neuroradiology.
CAMP provides a thorough team approach for the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of children with craniofacial disorders or birth defects of the face or head. These include:
Children with craniosynostosis should be diagnosed and treated during infancy. Surgery, the main treatment, is usually recommended before the child turns one. Patients also require regular evaluations to ensure the skull, facial bones and brain are developing properly. Our geneticist diagnoses clinical syndromes associated with craniosynostosis and provides counseling and medical care for other medical problems associated with these syndromes.
We want to make your family's visit with the CAMP team as smooth and informative as possible. We are here to help you understand your child's diagnosis and treatment options so you can make the best care decision as a family.
Research & Discovery
Children with craniosynostosis and other craniofacial disorders receive additional benefits from UChicago Medicine's research efforts. To help future patients, the University of Chicago's Bernard Sarnat Craniofacial Development Laboratory is actively studying the regeneration of bone for the repair of complex craniofacial defects; the biology of skull and facial sutures; and bone substitutes and the survival of bone-cartilage grafts.
Our clinic offers comprehensive evaluation and care by several specialists in one day and in one location, with each patient getting highly focused care. We are dedicated to arranging a timely appointment with CAMP experts matched to your child's needs. When you call for an appointment, an experienced nurse will advise you on how to prepare for the visit so we have all the information needed to assess your child's condition. The CAMP clinic meets in the neurosurgery clinic Iocated on the fourth floor of the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM 4D) at our main campus in Hyde Park.
The doctors and specialists in the Craniofacial Anomalies Multidisciplinary Program (CAMP) at UChicago Medicine's Comer Children's Hospital reshaped the skull of young Leia Annerino, who was diagnosed with craniosynostosis.
From the moment she was born, my husband and I noticed that she was-- her face wasn't fully symmetrical. And when she would sleep, one eye would always stay a little bit open.
They kept asking me, well, what could we do for you? And I just said, you know, I really need the names of people who specialize in this and do this all the time.
For Leia, she had a problem with her coronal suture on one side, and that led to an asymmetry in her face, specifically around her eye and her forehead and then a problem where the brain could not grow forward on one side.
Oh, there's certainly a lot of nuance in how to put the head back together so that there's enough room for the brain and that there's none of that asymmetry left.
So, we were able to meet Dr. Frim and Dr. Reid simultaneously. They were just very accommodating, and it was just very coordinated care.
Well, with craniosynostosis, a child can have developmental issues, vision issues, some appearance issues, neurologic issues, airway issues. And then, therefore, there's a need for different specialists to intersect and provide holistic, comprehensive care. So, on the majority of cases, Dr. Frim and I come together in the operating room.
I usually expose the structures for him. And then he works with his associates to safely remove these structures or bones, keeping the brain safe. And then I will reshape the bone and put them back together, so give the brain some space for future growth.
Any time you can group together a bunch of people who are aiming for the same goal and have different views, different expertise, and can combine that, is going to provide for a better outcome.
My role on the team as the audiologist is to monitor hearing and balance concerns for our patients and their families. We can come up with one treatment plan for patients.
It's really powerful to have an answer, to have an explanation for why your child has craniosynostosis or a cleft. The role of genetics in the CAMP program is to sort of provide support for thinking about whether there could be a genetic cause for clefts and other craniofacial differences.
In Leia's case, again, you know, it involved complex surgery, keeping the brain safe, keeping the eyes safe.
She looked perfect. I remember the first time I saw her after coming out of surgery, my mom and I just looked at her, and we were like, she looks so symmetrical. I mean, she looked-- I mean, she always looked perfect. But you could tell, I mean, right initially off the surgery how wonderful she looked.
And at our last appointment, Dr. Reid mentioned that unless any concerns develop over the next several years, he was very happy with how Leia had come along. And he didn't see the need to see her again, that he thought she was doing as perfect as could be, here with the dream team.
Your care and well-being are our primary concerns, and we want your stay to be as comfortable as possible.