Reconstructive Procedures

Cleft Lip and Palate

What is it about?

Cleft Palate is a when the palate is not completely closed; leaving an opening that can extend to the nasal cavity. This cleft can affect any side of the palate. It can extend from the frontal part of the mouth (hard palate) to the throat (soft palate). Often the cleft includes the lip. The cleft lip is a deformation in which the lip does not form completely during fetal growth. The degree of cleft lip may vary enormously, from mild to severe. The causes are many, such as genetic and environmental, which are the most common. The treatment is multidisciplinary and involves a surgeon, orthodontist, speech therapist and an ear, nose and throat specialists.

Who are eligible?

Generally the first surgery of lip cleft is performed in the fist three moths of life of a child, considering this as the most important stage, since it is the infants feeding stage. The palate is to be operated on after the first year of the child to avoid bone scaring from facial growth and to not interfere with the speech of the patient since this is the stage when children begin to speak. After this, there will be several surgeries taking place depending on the patient, since it may be necessary to place bone grafts so the canine tooth to descends and let the rhinoplasty or even orthognathic surgeries can improve the bite.

Recuperation time

Infant’s recuperation is very fast, due to their cicatrization. Generally dairy it is not recommended in the following days, but the patient can ingest immediately after surgery. The post operation care is very simple but will always require attention of parents. In the case of an orthognathic surgery for teenagers recuperation is more complicated since the movement of the bone requires more specific care.