Cleft Lip & Palate
A cleft lip and/or palate (roof of mouth) occurs when the sides of the lip and/or palate do not come together during the formation of the baby’s head and neck early in pregnancy. This incomplete development usually leaves an opening in these areas.
A cleft can occur in about one in 600 newborn babies. Each cleft is unique in its appearance and severity. The cleft can affect the lip alone, palate alone, or both the lip and palate. The cleft can occur on one side (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral) of the lip and/or palate. A cleft in the palate can affect the soft palate alone, hard palate alone, or both the soft and hard palates. A cleft can affect the baby’s feeding, hearing, speech, and nose.
How long will the procedure take?
A cleft lip is usually repaired in the first months of your child's life. A cleft palate is usually repaired in the first year of life. Each procedure usually takes about one and a half to two hours.