Velocardiofacial Syndrome (or VCFS) is a common syndrome associated with a cleft palate. Long face with prominent upper jaw is one key characteristic of the condition.
Velocardiofacial Syndrome (or VCFS), also known by the names Shprintzen Syndrome, Craniofacial Syndrome and Conotruncal Anomaly Face Syndrome, is a common syndrome associated with a cleft palate. The exact cause of velocardiofacial syndrome is not known. Several experts believe that there is a chromosomal defect in people with velocardiofacial syndrome.
The symptoms of velocardiofacial syndrome may be as follows.
- Long face with prominent upper jaw, flattened appearance of the cheeks and poorly developed lower jaw
- Blue color below the eyes, prominent nose, and tapering nasal passages
- Thin upper lip and down-slanting mouth
- Multiple congenital anomalies of the heart-- Ventricular septal defect (VSD), pulmonary atresia, tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), truncus arteriosus (TA), interrupted or right-sided aortic arch and transposition of the great arteries.
- Learning disabilities, problem with hearing and speech
- Abnormal behaviors
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.
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.
Read more articles on Velocardiofacial Syndrome.
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