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Cleft lip/palate and craniofacial surgery

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly during pregnancy. These birth defects commonly are called “orofacial clefts”.

What is Cleft Lip?
A cleft lip happens if the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth. This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip or in the middle of the lip, which occurs very rarely. Children with a cleft lip also can have a cleft palate.

What is Cleft Palate?
A cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For other babies, only part of the palate is open

Cleft lip and/or cleft palate come with the following problems.
Eating problems: With an opening in the palate, food and liquids can pass from the mouth back through the nose.
Speech problems: Children with a cleft palate may also have trouble speaking. the voice may take on a nasal sound, and the speech may be difficult to understand after palate repair.
Ear infections and hearing loss
Dental problems

Orofacial clefts, especially cleft lip with or without cleft palate, can be diagnosed during pregnancy by routine ultrasound. They can also be diagnosed after the baby is born, especially cleft palate. However, sometimes certain types of cleft palate (for example, submucous cleft palate and bifid uvula) might not be diagnosed until later in life .

iTreatment Protocols:
Appearance, facial expressions →lip surgery, NAM therapy (preoperative)

Swallowing, breathing →palate surgery
Middle ear ventilation/hearing impairment →ENT care, functional speech therapy
Speech/phonetics → functional speech therapy, surgical therapies
Misalignment of teeth/dental health→dental/orthodontic care
Development of the jaw and facial bones→orthodontic/maxillofacial surgery care

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