Cleft Lip & Palate

What is a Cleft lip & Cleft Palate?

Cleft lip or palate are birth defects seen in genetically predisposed children. The defects are seen as splits or gaps in mostly the upper lips and the roof of the mouth called the plate. It could only be limited to the lip or could involve both lip and palate. It could be just on one side or both sides. These defects hamper the quality of life to a large extent right from feeding, speech, and appearance of the individual at later stages of life.

How is Cleft lip & Cleft Palate managed?

The correction of this kind of birth defects is usually performed in stages. The correction of cleft lip and palate needs close evaluation and teamwork involving the facial plastic surgeon, pediatrician, pediatric dentist, speech therapist, psychologist, and many more people. In an ideal condition, the cleft lip needs to be corrected at 3 to 6months of birth, followed by correction of the palate at 6 to 12 months. The next few years should be considered very seriously in improving the speech with the help of a speech therapist. At 8 to 12 years bone grafting in the repaired cleft alveolus should be considered, where the defect was earlier closed just with the soft tissue blanket. Jaw growth should be closely monitored and so should be the dental condition. Cleft rhinoplasty can be considered to correct any nasal deformity due to the cleft at 12 to 15 years.

What to expect after a Cleft lip or Cleft Palate surgery?

As mentioned, the acceptable correction of cleft lip and palate requires multiple surgeries and procedures and hence the parents need to understand and accept this. After every surgery or procedure, there is an obvious improvement in deformity. The functional correction would help patients to feed and talk better. Aesthetic corrections including rhinoplasty, jaw surgery, and scar revisions will need to be done as and when deemed essential. But overall, huge improvements can be expected after every procedure performed.

How to go-ahead for the procedure with Dr. Arun once you have decided?

Dr. Arun Panda is a fellowship-trained Facial Cosmetic Surgeon. He is well experienced in various Facial plastic surgeries, Non-surgical Facial aesthetic procedures, and Hair Transplant surgery. His practice is totally dedicated to what he mentions as “creating beautiful faces”!

Correction of cleft lip and palate for a child requires a lot of patience and patient confidence. Dr. Arun prefers to spend a lot of time explaining the steps and stages in correction to the parents of cleft patients. Parents are explained in detail regarding the need for multiple surgeries, its outcome, stages in which the surgeries should be performed, achievable results, etc. Once understanding is made, the child is sent for medical evaluation and blood tests. Once clearance obtained, the child can be taken for required cleft surgery.

Statistics (scale of 1 to 10):

Invasiveness: 10
Pain factor: 6
Patient satisfaction: 10