Baby girl from Mathura   

This little baby girl from Mathura was born with a cleft. She is now 3 months of age. Mathura accounts for a higher than average number of babies born with a cleft. Her upper lip was split into two. This is known as a cleft lip. She also had a hole in the roof of her mouth which affected her feeding. The patient’s mother was also operated for a cleft lip and palate as an infant. An ultrasound test during pregnancy revealed the baby’s cleft. There was also a familial history of clefts running through the generations.

Unilateral cleft lip

Cleft lip is a congenital split in the upper lip on one side often associated with cleft palate. The cleft palate usually involves the soft palate and hard palate. Babies with cleft lip usually have difficulty in feeding. Cleft babies may develop various problems as they continue to grow. They have dental problems which require corrective treatments. The dental problems require surgical and non-surgical intervention. They have an increased risk of middle ear infections which may lead to hearing problems. Babies born with clefts may have speech problems. Thereby requiring a speech therapist opinion.

Cleft lip surgeon in India

 Though aware of the condition the parents were very depressed. They were very concerned about her future. They were searching far and wide for the best cleft lip surgeon in India. A local physician referred them to our hospital. Dr.S.M.Balaji one of the leading cleft lip and palate surgeon in India examined the patient. He planned to correct the cleft lip at 3 months of age.

Primary cleft lip repair

Corrective surgery to repair the lip is required. Cleft lip and palate surgeon Dr. S.M. Balaji planned to perform primary lip repair at 3 months of age. Unilateral cleft lip repair is done using Modified Millard’s technique. The upper lip musculature is also corrected during the surgery.

Surgery outcome

The result of the surgery was as expected. She looked like any other baby girl of her age with minimal to no scar. The parents were very pleased with the results.

Future surgical corrections

Cleft palate repair will be done at about 9 months of age. Bone grafting is to be done at 3 and a half to 4 months of age. Speech correction / Pharyngoplasty may be necessary at 3-4 years of age. Further surgical corrections will be carried out at later date. The mouth palate must be repaired within 10 months of age.