Treatment for Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
In a cleft lip, the gap involves the lip, muscles around the lip, and the nose. Surgery will be used to correct the cleft lip/palate and isolated cleft palate. The timing and type of surgery depend upon a number of factors, including the health of the baby and the nature of the cleft. Most surgeons agree that a cleft lip should, in most cases, be repaired by about three months of age. Cleft palate repair to restore the partition between the nose and mouth is generally performed as early as possible, often when the baby is between 9 and 12 months old.
We are very fortunate at Golisano Children's Hospital to have a dedicated group of medical professionals specializing in the treatment of children with cleft and craniofacial differences. A child born with a cleft frequently requires several different types of services, e.g., surgery, dental/orthodontic care, and speech therapy, all of which need to be provided in a coordinated manner over a period of years. This coordinated care is provided by interdisciplinary cleft palate/craniofacial teams comprised of professionals from a variety of health care disciplines who work together on the child's total rehabilitation. A team is a group of healthcare professionals (surgeons, dentists, speech pathologists, nurses, mental health specialists, and others) who work together to treat a child with a facial birth defect.
The Cleft and Craniofacial Center team will work with you, your child and your pediatrician to determine the best treatment plan for your child. Treatment options include: