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Cleft Lip Surgery

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Considering surgery to correct a cleft lip or palate for your child? Plastic Surgeons of Lexington can answer all your questions.

Clefting of the lip and palate occurs during gestation and can be detected by fetal ultrasound or sometimes as late as at birth.  Its cause is multifactorial.  This type of congenital defect not only requires surgical intervention for aesthetic purposes, surgical repair of the cleft lip and palate is necessary for functional purposes as well.  For instance, cleft lip repair helps restore oral competence.  Secondly, surgical repair of the palate obliterates the connection between the oral and nasal cavity thereby reducing the incidence of liquid escape through the nose.  Finally, the palate, especially an intact soft palate, is necessary for speech.  Surgical repair of the palate helps restore the necessary apparatus for speech.

Care of the patient with clefting of the lip and palate requires many different types of medical professionals and midlevels including a pediatrician, plastic surgeon, oral surgeon, dentist, orthodontist, speech pathologist, nutritionist, and sometimes an ENT surgeon.

Cleft lip repair is typically undertaken at about 3 months of age – enough time for adequate growth.  Cleft palate repair typically occurs at 10-12 months of age in order to allow for as much maxillary growth as possible before speech patterns begin.

For more information on surgery to correct a cleft lip or palate please contact Plastic Surgeons of Lexington for a consultation or to receive more information.

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