Having a healthy, perfect baby is the dream of every new mom and dad.
But occasionally babies are born with congenital deformities, such as a cleft lip or cleft palate. The good news is, these deformities can be corrected with today’s advanced surgical procedures.
- Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common of all birth defects. The incomplete formation of the upper lip (cleft lip) or roof of the mouth (cleft palate) can occur individually or together, involve one or both sides of the face and may vary in severity.
- A cleft is a separation of the upper lip and/or the roof of the mouth. It occurs early in the development of the unborn child. While the baby develops, some components of the upper lip and roof of the mouth fail to form normally. Plastic surgery to correct a cleft lip and cleft palate serves to restore function and a more normal facial appearance.
- Most clefts are repaired using specialized plastic surgery techniques which improve the child’s ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe. The surgery is much more that just a cosmetic repair. Repairing a cleft is a highly individualized procedure that is not only intended to close the defect, but also to ensure that the child is able to function and grow normally.
Cleft lip repair includes closure of the cleft which results in a scar located in the normal structures of the upper lip, formation of a curve at the center of the upper lip and consideration for distance between the upper lip and nose.
In repairing a cleft palate, considerations include allowance for normal growth, function and speech development, relation of the palate to the auditory canal and the development of the teeth and alignment of the jaw.
Cleft lip repairs are performed when the baby is at least ten weeks of age; cleft palate repairs are performed when the baby is somewhat older, from nine to 18 months of age.
Dr. Thompson specializes in facial reconstruction surgeries.
Call for a consultation appointment: (801) 776-2220.