Craniofacial and Cleft Center

Comprehensive Care Right at Home

Hackensack Meridian Health K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital has the most comprehensive Craniofacial and Cleft Center in Monmouth and Ocean counties. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of complex cranial and facial deformities caused by trauma or congenital abnormalities. We are committed to providing excellent care and outstanding service to the communitgnized expertise. The Craniofacial and Cleft Center has a team of clinicians working together to provide information and treatment options depending on the diagnosis. These include:

  • Pediatric Neurosurgeon
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgeon
  • Dentists/Orthodontists
  • Neurologists
  • Speech and swallow specialists
  • Nationally recognized Magnet nurses
  • Child life specialists
  • Audiologists
  • Geneticists
  • Obturator
  • Otolaryngologists – head and neck surgeons
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
  • Pediatricians
  • Social workers

Our team of experienced specialists is dedicated to caring for each child. Together, they take the time to review individual cases to ensure that each child’s specific needs are met. The Jersey Shore Craniofacial and Cleft Center has been nationally recognized as an American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) Approved Team for meeting standards in providing quality care.

Exceptional Surgeons with Innovative Care

Lawrence Daniels, M.D., and Francesco Gargano, M.D., are the founders of the Craniofacial and Cleft Center at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, home to Monmouth and Ocean County’s top pediatric craniofacial surgeon and pediatric neurosurgeon. Dr. Daniels, medical director of pediatric neurosurgery at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, is fellowship-trained from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he specialized in pediatric neurosurgery. Dr. Gargano is highly proficient in these distinctive surgeries through his extensive training specifically in craniofacial surgery. He is devoted to caring for craniofacial patients through an international charity where he travels annually to repair facial deformities for less fortunate children. Along with an experienced and specialized multidisciplinary care team, you can rest easy knowing your child will be highly cared for and monitored by our Magnet award winning nurses from preoperative care through recovery.

JRK0598Read Adriana's story here.

Congenital and Acquired Treatment

Thousands of babies are born in the United States with complex facial and cranial abnormalities including cleft lip/palate and craniosynotosis, among others. Craniofacial surgeries are performed to treat congenital or acquired defects of a child’s head, skull, neck, face, jaw, and related areas.

  • Congenital craniofacial conditions occur when children are born with abnormalities of the bones, muscles, and other tissues of the skull and face.
  • Acquired conditions that may require craniofacial surgery are derived from an incident later in life, such as a disease or a traumatic injury.

Our experienced surgeons treat:

  • Apert’s Syndrome
  • Craniofacial Fibrous Dysplasia Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate
  • Crouzon’s Syndrome
  • Deformational Plageocephaly Encepholocele
  • Ear Defomity Conditions
  • Hypertelorism
  • Isolated and Syndromic Craniosynostosis
  • Nasal Reconstruction
  • Nasoalveolar Molding (NAM)
  • Oribital Hypertelorism
  • Orbital Syndromic Craniosynostosis
  • Oromandibular Limb Hypoplasia
  • Pierre Robin
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Velocardiofacial Syndrome

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child be able to eat properly? Your child may need some special assistance to eat at first, but with proper guidance, he or she should eventually be able to eat normally. Your pediatrician, nurse and other medical specialists can help you with special feeding techniques if needed.

Will my child’s teeth grow properly? Yes, although your child may require the care of dentists and orthodontists at a later age.

Will my child have trouble learning how to talk? Many children with clefts develop speech normally and have no problems speaking. Others may need the help of a speech pathologist. You child's speech development will be regularly monitored, so intervention can begin at the appropriate time if necessary.

How will I pay for the medical care required? Health insurance can pay for all or part of the necessary care. Additional financial assistance may be available from an agency in your state. Your doctor or team coordinator can provide helpful information.

Is a translator available at the center? We have an interpreter available via the language line. If you prefer to have a translator present during your visit, we will make every effort to supply one for you.

Care Locations

K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, 1945 Route 33, Neptune, NJ 07753

For general information, questions, and to schedule an appointment, call 732-776-3150. View and download the Multi-Disciplinary Craniofacial and Cleft Clinic referral form here. When complete, email this form to CraniofacialClinicKHCH@hackensackmeridian.org or fax it to 732-776-2344.


The following information is required and should be brought to your appointment. Failure to bring this information may result in rescheduling your appointment.
  • A list of all medications including over-the-counter drugs and vitamins, with the dosage.
  • Insurance cards
  • Form of ID
  • Any previous x-rays or reports pertaining to your appointment
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.