Cleft Lip & Palate

Cleft Lip & Palate


Cleft lip surgery is usually performed by the time a baby is three months old. By contrast, a cleft palate often requires multiple surgeries over the course of 18 years. The first surgery to repair the palate is usually performed by the time a baby is six to 12 months old. The initial surgery creates a functional palate, reduces the chances that fluid will develop in the middle ears, and aids in the proper development of the teeth and facial bones.

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon plays an important role in the multiple-stage correctional program for cleft lip and palate patients. The goal is to help restore the jaw and facial structures, leading to normal function and appearance.

Treatment must consider function, appearance, nutrition, speech, hearing, and emotional and psychological development.

cleft lip and palate
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