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5 Facts Parents Should Know

About Cleft Lip and Palate


  • AIn the eight century B.C., the cleft lip surgery was performed in India by the Indian plastic surgeon Sushruta. He is considered the "Father of Plastic Surgery”,
  • AChildren born with cleft lip deformity are Like other children except the deformity
  • AThe cleft lip surgery is best performed when the child is 3 to 4 months old.
  • AIn addition to performing a cleft lip repair, correcting the nasal septum also occurs at the time of the operation. In some children, though, additional nose correction might be required during adolescence.
  • ASurgical correction of the cleft lip deformity at the right time will ensure normal psychological development of the child

What is Cleft Lip and Palate Deformity?

A cleft is just an irregular fetal split, a breakdown, or a void. A cleft palate is a congenital birth defect that occurs when tissues of the palate fail to properly join together during the early stages of pregnancy. The failure occurs during the 8th and 12th weeks of gestation is depicted. On the one hand, the condition could be considered a mild muscle defect in the soft palate, while on the other, the complete separation of the skin and bone of both the hard and soft palate is possible.

If a cleft of the soft palate occurs without a cleft of the hard palate, it is known as a cleft palate with the soft-palate division. A cleft of the hard palate will be present with a cleft of the soft palate. To fix a cleft palate, a palate cleft surgery is required.



Cleft lip deformity can be extremely severe or completely mild. There can be only one side of the matter or both sides can be involved.

With respect to cleft lip deformity, if the deformity involves the whole lip, it is called a bilateral cleft lip deformity. However, if the deformity is on only the lower lip, it is known as an asymmetrical cleft lip deformity.

A nose deformity can be seen in children with cleft defects in which the whole lip is involved. People who need nose correction surgery will also need facelift surgery.

An incomplete cleft lip is defined as a cleft lip deformity that only affects the lower half of the lip. This is the least damaging type.

Any child who has a cleft deformity that involves the nose will require multiple surgeries to fix the problem.

Intraoral Diagram Cleft Lip And Palate

Why Cleft Lip palate Correction?

» Cleft lip and palate affect the ability of the baby to drink.
» It is harder for the baby to suck the milk, and it is more likely that milk will enter the respiratory tract.
» It is also an obstacle to speech.
» The effect on the face is also unesthetic.


» It is typically performed in the first 10 months of life in order to restore surgically a broken palate.
» Surgical repair enhances a child’s breathing, voice, linguistics and facial appearance.
» Every child performs well and leads a healthy life with surgical and cosmetic lip and palate repair.
» In such situations, parental care, support and preparation are very important.
» The level of hemoglobin and weight of the baby for cleft lip and palate corrections are closely and correctly controlled.
» Vitals, remain well controlled under general anaesthesia, during the surgical and cosmetic repair.
» Our surgeon guarantees that the life of the infant will be enriched and that it will be able to chew and feed at a later stage.

Treatment Timeline for Cleft Lip and Palate

3 to 4 months – surgery to repair a cleft lip

6 to 9 months – surgery to repair a cleft palate

3 years – pharyngoplasty and speech therapy

5 years – BMP

12 years – jaw and teeth repair

18 years – Rhinoplasty

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of cleft lip or palate?

Genetics and environmental conditions are also considered important factors. Cleft parents are known to be predisposed to cleft children. But the main cause is attributed to the deficiency of Folic Acid during pregnancy. Radiation, pollution, nutrient impairment, mentally disrupting women, trauma, consuming alcohol, smoking, chewing tobacco during pregnancy are other causes. The development of cleft is not influences by x- rays, medicine, illness, injuries

Is a cleft lip always associated with cleft palate?

Cleft lip is not always associated with cleft palate

What can be done for my child born with a cleft?

Surgical repair of the cleft can be successfully done restoring appearance and function to normal. Most of the babies born with cleft have nasal deformity, so long with cleft surgery, nose correction is also done. Many of our patients have got excellent results.

Why do cleft lip and palate require many surgeries? Is it not enough to do once?

It is not enough as the doctor has to decide for the child as the functional treatment always precedes the esthetic correction and has to be constantly revised as the child grows.

Will my child look normal after surgery?

Not immediately after surgery because of the swelling in the lip region and the scar appears red. The scar takes about 6 – 12 months to disappear to give a pleasing look

How many days should my child be in the hospital after surgery?

The child is hospitalized for a maximum of 2 – 3 days.

Can parents stay along with the child in the hospital?

Parents can stay and take care of the child in the hospital. The details about the stay can be cleared from the hospital staffs

Will my child speak like normal child?

The child speaks very well after the surgical repair of the cleft. The improvement in the speech depends on the co-operation and encouragement shown to the child.

When should I meet speech therapist?

Not all children need a speech therapist. Only for a few children speech therapy becomes necessary and a speech therapist has to be contacted at 2-3 years of age.

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