Cleft Lift & Palate Repair

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Cleft Lift & Palate Repair

Cleft lip and cleft palate refer to facial and oral malformations that occur in the early stages of pregnancy when the baby is inside the mother’s womb. Development of cleft is consequential to the lack of tissues in the lip area or mouth, and the available tissue does not join together aptly.

A cleft lip, on the other hand, is a physical separation or split of the two sides of the upper lip and usually appears as a narrow gap or opening in the upper lip’s skin. Often, this type of separation extends beyond the nasal base and includes the bones of the upper gum or/and upper jaw.

A cleft palate is an opening or split in the roof of the mouth. It can involve the hard palate that is the bony front part of the roof of the mouth, or/and the soft palate that is the soft back part of the roof of the mouth.

Cleft palate or cleft lip can occur on either one or both sides of the mouth. Given that the palate and the lip develop separately, there is very possibility to have a cleft palate without a cleft lip, a cleft lip without a cleft palate, or both together.

Who develops cleft palate and cleft lip?

Cleft lip, without or with cleft palate, is a condition that affects one in 700 babies in a year, and it is also the fourth common birth defect in the United States. According to studies conducted, it has been found that it happens in children of Native American, Latino or Asian descent. The condition is more common in boys than girls. Twice as many girls have cleft palate without a cleft lip. However, when compared with girls, twice as many boys develop a cleft lip, both without or with a cleft palate.

What are the causes of cleft palate and cleft repair?

Usually, the cause of cleft palate and cleft lip is not known. These cannot be averted. Many doctors, scientists and researchers believe clefts occur because of a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Chances of clefts are high in newborn in case a parent, sibling or relative has had the problem. Another cause can be the intake of medication by a mother during pregnancy. Some drugs can also cause this problem. Cleft lip and cleft palate can also occur because of exposure to chemicals to viruses while fetus is developing in the womb.

What is the treatment for cleft palate or cleft lip?

Cleft lip palate repair require one or two surgeries on the basis of the extent of the damage. Initial or the first surgery is performed when the baby is nearly three months old.

Repair of a cleft palate often needs multiple surgeries over the time of 18 years. The first surgery for repairing the palate usually is recommended and performed when the baby is aged between six and twelve months old. The initial surgery aims at creating a functional palate, decreases the possibilities that fluid would develop in the middle of the ears, and helps in the proper development of the facial and teeth bones.

Children who are born with a cleft palate might also require a bone graft when they are nearly 8 years of age for filling in the upper gum line so that it can stabilize the upper jaw and support the permanent teeth. Nearly twenty percent of the kids born with a cleft palate need further surgeries for improving their speech. Once the permanent teeth grow, braces are required for straightening the teeth.

Additional surgical procedure might be performed for improving the appearance of the nose and lip, improving breathing, realigning and stabilizing the jaw and closing the openings between the nose and the mouth. Final restoration of the scars left behind by the initial surgery would not be performed until a child reaches adolescence, when the facial structure is fully developed.

At COSMECTO, we take pride to mention that we are associated surgeons who have expertise in performing cleft palate and cleft lip surgery. you can schedule an appointment with the surgeon through us.