Cleft Lip and Palate Repair
Cheiloplasty and Palatoplasty, collectively referred to as Cleft Lip and Palate Repair, represent a distinct subset of Plastic Surgery. These intricate surgical interventions are executed by consummate and adept plastic surgeons with extensive expertise in this domain. The aim of these procedures is to rectify malformations in the maxillary region and the oral cavity's vault, originating from a congenital fissure—a condition afflicting approximately 1 in 700 neonates globally. (1) (2)
Per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the yearly occurrence of neonates presenting with a cleft lip, with or without an accompanying cleft palate, is 10 per 10,000. An analysis of hospitalization expenditures in 2007 for cleft palate (with or without cleft lip) operations revealed an average fee of $19,227 per intervention; the cumulative hospitalization expenses for these surgeries across the United States amounted to an estimated $112.96 million. (3) (4)
|Age Limit||6 to 12 months old|
|Pain after surgery||3-4 days|
|Hospital Stay||2-3 Day|
|Recovery Time||1 Month|
What is Cleft Lip and Palate Repair?
Cleft lip and palate repair is a surgical procedure that aims to correct a congenital deformity of the upper lip and/or palate. The procedure involves the reconstruction of the affected area to create a more normal appearance and improve the function of the mouth and nose. The surgery may be performed in stages, beginning in infancy and continuing through adolescence.
The condition occurs when the lip and/or palate do not fuse together properly during fetal development, which can result in a gap or opening that can affect feeding, speech, and hearing. Cleft lip and palate repair is a highly specialized procedure that requires the skill and expertise of a trained and experienced plastic surgeon.
The surgery may involve a variety of techniques and approaches depending on the unique needs of the individual, and the procedure may be tailored to provide functional and cosmetic improvements. Overall, cleft lip and palate repair can provide significant benefits to individuals with this congenital deformity, improving their quality of life and enhancing their self-confidence.
Cleft Lip and Palate Repair Procedure
The cleft lip and palate repair procedure may vary depending on the individual's needs, but it generally involves the following steps:
- Anesthesia: The patient is administered either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia to prevent pain and discomfort during the procedure.
- Incision: The surgeon makes an incision on the affected area to gain access to the cleft lip or palate.
- Reconstruction: The surgeon then reconstructs the affected area by suturing the lip or palate together to create a more normal appearance and improve function.
- Closing the Incision: The surgeon closes the incision with sutures.
The cleft lip and palate repair surgery may also involve additional techniques, such as tissue expansion or bone grafting, to improve the function and appearance of the affected area. The surgeon will evaluate the individual's unique needs and develop a personalized treatment plan to achieve the best possible outcome.
The surgery may be performed in stages, beginning with the repair of the lip and followed by the repair of the palate. The surgeon will provide specific pre-operative and post-operative instructions to ensure a successful outcome and minimize the risk of complications. With proper care and attention, the individual can expect a smooth recovery and significant improvements in the function and appearance of the affected area.
Cleft Lip and Palate Repair Risks and Side Effects
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cleft lip and palate repair surgeries carry intrinsic risks, despite their essential role in improving a child’s development and quality of life. These surgeries, though beneficial, come with potential complications that need careful consideration before proceeding.
Possible risks involve:
- Allergic reactions to various surgical materials such as tapes, sutures, or glues.
- Complications related to anesthesia during surgery.
- Possibilities of bleeding during or after the surgery.
- There might be damage to deeper structures like nerves or blood vessels.
- Infections might arise post-surgery.
- Scars might heal irregularly, showing signs of thickening or shortening.
- Healing of incisions might not occur as expected.
- Subsequent revisional surgeries may become necessary.
- Residual asymmetries and irregularities might persist in the nose or lip.
- Post-surgical respiratory issues might also be experienced by some patients.
What is The Criteria for Cleft Lip Repair for Hair?
Candidates for cleft lip and palate repair are infants and children born with a cleft lip and/or palate. The surgery is typically performed within the first few months of life to improve feeding and prevent speech and hearing problems. The surgeon will evaluate the individual's medical history and perform a physical examination to determine if they are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
In addition, some individuals may require additional surgeries or procedures to achieve the desired outcome, such as speech therapy or dental treatment. Overall, cleft lip and palate repair can provide significant benefits to infants and children born with this condition, improving their quality of life and overall health and wellbeing.
After the cleft lip and palate repair procedure, the individual may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage any discomfort, and the individual will need to follow specific post-operative instructions to ensure proper healing. This may include avoiding certain foods, taking medication as prescribed, and avoiding strenuous activities for several weeks.
The results of cleft lip and palate repair are typically noticeable immediately following the procedure. However, it may take several weeks for the swelling to subside, and the final results may not be fully visible for several months. The outcome of the procedure will depend on the individual's unique needs and the skill of the surgeon performing the procedure.
In addition, the results of cleft lip and palate repair can be long-lasting and may provide significant functional and cosmetic improvements to the affected area. The individual may experience improved feeding, speech, and hearing as a result of the surgery. However, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor the healing process and ensure the longevity of the results.
Cleft lip and palate repair is a surgical procedure that aims to correct a congenital deformity of the upper lip and/or palate. It is a highly specialized procedure that requires the skill and expertise of a trained and experienced plastic surgeon. Infants and children born with a cleft lip and/or palate are typically suitable candidates for the procedure, and the surgery may be performed in stages throughout childhood.
With proper care and attention, the results of the procedure can be long-lasting and provide significant functional and cosmetic improvements to the affected area. Individuals should consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine if they are a suitable candidate for the procedure and to discuss their goals and expectations.
(1) - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cleft-palate/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370990
(2) - https://www.mercyone.org/desmoines/find-a-service-or-specialty/childrens-hospital-and-clinics/craniofacial-and-childrens-reconstructive-surgery/cleft-lip-and-palate/
(3) - https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/craniofacial-birth-defects/prevalence
(4) - https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/cleft-lip-palate