Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common among birth defects. Cleft lip and cleft palate occur when there are no tissues available in the lip and mouth area to join them together. This clefting is a physical split or separation that occurs in the lip, the roof of the mouth, or both when the baby is still developing inside the womb.
Cleft lip and cleft palate may happen on one or both sides of the mouth as these areas develop separately. Even though cleft lip and cleft palate are considered as birth defects, they can be associated with hereditary conditions or syndromes.
Dr. Hiren Bhatt, Board Certified Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon of Nishtha Wellness, Vadodara performs cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to restore normal appearance and functioning of the mouth.
What Is Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Surgery?
As cleft lip and cleft palate may occur separately, there are two different surgeries for these problems.
Cleft lip repair surgery is aimed to close the separation that occurred in the lip and cleft palate repair surgery is aimed to rebuild the roof of the mouth and to fill in physical splits.
What Causes Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate?
There are no definite reasons yet discovered that cause cleft lip and cleft palate. However, scientists believe that clefting may occur as a result of a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
Family history, eating-drinking habits, smoking, consumption of certain medications by mother during pregnancy are some of the factors that could be considered as causes for clefting. Along with these factors, some evidence suggests that women who have diabetes and are obese during pregnancy have an increased risk of having a baby with a cleft lip and cleft palate.
How To Diagnose Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate?
Cleft lip and cleft palate can be diagnosed during a prenatal ultrasound. But if clefting goes undetected during an ultrasound, then a physical examination of mouth, palate, and nose can determine clefting as cleft lip and cleft palate are physically noticeable after birth.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used For Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Surgery?
For cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, general anesthesia is used so that child sleeps throughout the surgery.
How Is Cleft Lip Surgery Is Performed At Nishtha Wellness, Vadodara?
- The cleft lip repair surgery can be received within the first 3-6 months of age.
- Dr. Hiren Bhatt will make incisions on both sides of the cleft.
- These incisions will create flaps of tissue and these flaps will be stitched together along with lip muscles to create normal structure and appearance of the lip.
How Is Palate Surgery Performed At Nishtha Wellness, Vadodara?
- The cleft palate repair surgery can be received by the age of 12 months or earlier than that if possible.
- Dr. Hiren Bhatt will make incisions on both sides of the cleft and will rearrange the lining of the palate and muscles around it.
- After rearranging them, the repair will be stitched closed (with dissolvable stitches) which will create a functional palate.
How Is Recovery After Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Surgery?
- Recovery is an important stage for cleft lip and cleft palate surgery and parents will be instructed on how to take care of the site of the surgery.
- After cleft lip surgery, most babies stay in the hospital for 1-2 days. Scarring may occur after cleft lip surgery; however, it will fade over time.
- Most children are in hospital for 1-3 days after cleft palate surgery. There will be scarring after cleft palate surgery but the scars will be inside the mouth.
- The stitches will dissolve on their own or will be removed after a few days by the doctor.
- Some medicines might be prescribed by the doctor to reduce the chances of infection and pain.
- The doctor will provide guidelines for food, drinks and also will provide instructions on how to feed, what utensils to use, arm restrictions etc. Parents must follow all these instructions carefully so that the baby can have a speedy and comfortable recovery.
- Do follow check-ups as planned and if you encounter any problems or have any doubts or queries, call the doctor immediately.
What Are Risks And Complications Associated With Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Surgery?
Possible risks of cleft lip and cleft palate surgery include bleeding, infection, poor healing, widening or elevation of scars, and damage to nerves, blood vessels or other structures.
Please note that these risks and complications are rare and will not occur in one person. Dr. Hiren Bhatt takes the safety of his patients very seriously and takes all possible measures to avoid any kind of risks and complications.
What To Expect From Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Surgery?
After getting cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, the appearance and functioning of these areas and the ability to eat, drink, and breathe will improve significantly.
After getting cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, additional procedures may require depending upon the needs and requirements of the child or to further improve the appearance of lips and palate.
In case you have queries regarding this or any other procedures, we welcome you for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hiren Bhatt where he will expertly guide you on the matter.