Cleft lip and cleft palate are splits in upper lip. These results when facial structure does not develop properly. This is a very common birth defect. It mostly occur due to some genetic conditions or any syndrome.
- A split in upper lip of the mouth which affects the face.
- A split in lip which the lip extends lip through upper gum and palate into bottom of nose.
- Feeding problems.
- Speaking with nasal.
- Ear infection.
These occur when the tissues in baby’s face and mouth does not fuse properly. Generally, tissues that make lip and palate fuse in second and third months of pregnancy. The cleft lip and cleft palate are caused by genetic and environmental factor.
There are various factors due to which cleft lip and cleft palate may develop:
- Genes: Parents having any family history of cleft lip or palates have higher risks.
- Exposure of some substances when pregnant: Smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol during pregnancy may develop cleft lip.
- Diabetes: If the woman is diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, there is a risk of cleft lip.
The surgery is used to correct the cleft lip and palate depending on the condition. There is a sequence of surgery which are performed according to the age of child-
- Cleft lip repair – for 3 to 6 months of age.
- Cleft palate repair – for age of 12 months
- Follow-up surgeries – between age 2 years and late teen years.
The procedures includes:
- Cleft lip repair:For closing the lips, the surgeon will make cuts on both sides of cleft and make a flap of tissue. The flaps are then stitched with the lip muscles. After the repair, the appearance of lip becomes normal and function properly. If nasal repair is needed, it is also done at same time.
- Cleft palate repair:There are number of procedures which are used to separate and reconstruct the upper part of mouth , depending on the child’s condition. The surgeon will make the cut on both side of cleft and will re-position the tissues and muscles. After that it is stitched.
- Ear tube surgery: For children suffering with cleft lip, ear tubes are placed to avoid the risk of hearing loss. The ear tube surgery is used to place a small bobbin shaped tube in eardrum, so that it creates an opening to prevent fluid buildup.
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