Cleft Lip & Palate Repair
Cleft lip and palate is very common congenital anomaly and poses a serious concern to the parents. A cleft lip may be either a small defect in the lip or a complete split in the lip that reaches the base of the nose. A cleft palate can be on one or both sides of roof of the mouth. The child can have either one or both of these conditions at the time of birth.
The defects can very well be corrected with plastic and cosmetic surgery. Early treatment is extremely important otherwise child may develop problems related to nursing, feeding or speech.
Usually these children need more than one procedure depending on the extent of deformities.
Generally, the treatment of cleft lip repair is done when the child is just an infant, the usual age for procedure being 3 months onwards. In cleft lip surgery, existing tissues are used to get nearly normal shape of lip with minimum possible scar.
Cleft palate repair is done when the child is a bit grown up but before the speech develops
i.e. between 6 months and 1 year. Early repair of palate is crucial for development of normal speech.
Cleft palate is repaired restoring the normal anatomy and normal functions of the palate muscles.
The children with cleft lip usually have deformed nose which is usually corrected along with lip repair, though final reshaping of the nose is carried out when the child is fully grown up after puberty.