Cleft Lip And Palate
A common birth disorder is Cleft Lip and Palate. It may occur alone or as part of a syndrome or genetic disorder. These lead to speech and eating problems. There can be jaw deformities associated or they may result with abnormal growth. However, an appropriately performed surgery restores normal function with minimal scarring. The surgeries have to be done at a very early age (generally at 3 months for cleft lip and 9 months for cleft palate) depending on the health of the child.
Sometimes surgeons may advise taping procedures just after birth to limit the deformity with growth of the face. Some specialists may advise naso-alveolar moulding device to limit the extent of the deformity. Special precautions have to be taken for feeding these children, and for burping after every feed.
Children with a combined cleft lip and palate may require two or more surgeries and a prolonged follow up. Nasal deformity with Cleft lip also needs surgical correction and this is best done at the primary surgery of the cleft lip.