CLEFT LIP AND PALATE
What is Cleft lip and Palate Reconstruction?
A cleft lip and palate is one of the most common facial birth defects, affecting over 200 000 children worldwide, every single year. It occurs due to the incomplete formation of the upper lip or roof of the mouth – resulting in an opening or separation. Surgery is mandatory in order to allow for normal speech development, proper feeding and breathing, and to restore appearance and function. In some cases, cleft lip and palate may lead to ear infections and hearing loss as well as dental problems – with a risk of infection that could cause further structural damage. Therefore, the surgery is performed in partnership with other specialists.
What can I expect?
After an initial consultation to evaluate whether it’s a cleft lip or cleft palate, or both, surgery is performed to correct the cleft in the lip or palate, or both, and to improve function and appearance. Most cleft lip and palate require more than one surgery during childhood and adolescence, depending on the severity of the condition.