Cleft lip (split of the upper lip) and Cleft palate (split of the roof of the mouth) are common congenital deformity. It occurs when the separate areas of the face that develop individually and then join together, do not join properly. Cleft lip is a separation of the two sides of the lip and often includes the bones of the maxilla and/or the upper gum. Cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. It occurs when the two sides of the palate do not fuse as the unborn baby develops.
Ideally, children with cleft lip and palate should be treated by a multidisciplinary specialist “cleft team” that may include surgeons, speech and language therapists, audiologists (hearing experts), dentists, orthodontists, psychologists, geneticists and specialist cleft nurses. Care and support of your child and the family should last from birth until your child stops growing at about age 18. The timing of surgery varies, but usually an operation to close the gap in the lip will be done about three months after the baby is born. Surgery to close the gap in the palate is usually done at about six months. As your child grows older, further surgery may be needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose and the function of the palate. If there is a gap in the gum, a bone graft will normally be done when your child is between 9 and 12 years old. This will help their second teeth to anchor properly into the gum. Bone is usually taken from the hip or shin and grafted into the gap in the gum.
The ” Facial Deformities ” Project for Poor & Needy Patients with Deformities of the Face is in Bangalore, India .
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