Both cleft lip and palate need surgery for closing the defect. For cleft lip your child may be operated by three to four months of age. Till that time you will be advised to feed the baby with special bottles and extra care. Some children may be operated upon later. Your doctor will guide you regarding the care while feeding and technique of feeding.
For cleft palate, surgery is done usually when the child is one to two years old. By this age the upper jaw has reached it’s normal growth. In case of severe defect the surgery may be done when the child is between five and seven to prevent structural problems later on. In case of severe deformity multiple surgeries may be needed over an extended period of time. A team of surgeons will plan the treatment. A plastic and/or maxillofacial surgeon generally does the corrective surgery on the face, a general dentist, oral surgeon, otolaryngologist and/or orthodontist will prepare the appliances to correct any defects.
If your child has cleft lip or cleft palate consult a surgeon. He or she will examine the child and
tell you the prognosis, the age when the surgery can be done and if more than one surgery may be needed.
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