Cleft and Craniofacial Procedures
- Unilateral and bilateral Cleft lip
- Cleft Palate
- Surgery for disorders of speech
- Secondary disorders of cleft lip and palate
- Speech therapy
The treatment starts with the proper feeding of the child, developing a bonding of the mother with the child and educating the family as to the treatments that the child will require.
Cleft lip may be unilateral or bilateral. It can be complete when the whole lip and the nose is involved or incomplete where only part of the lip is involved. It is usually operated when the child is three months of age and has adequate weight. It involves correction of the nasal defect by primary or secondary Rhinoplasty. When the child is between seven and nine years, an alveolar bone graft has to be done if there is a bony deformity of the alveolus. Later, if there is any secondary deformity, it can be corrected.
Cleft palate is due to a defect in the hard and soft palate. Here the child finds it difficult to maintain the negative pressure to suck milk which leads to early fatigue. This causes failure to thrive. This also can cause regurgitation of milk the child drinks. This in turn can lead to lower respiratory tract infection and ear infection. The mother is taught to feed the child with special feeding bottles or using a spoon. The child is operated at one to one and a half years. The child is followed up to assess the speech and to give palatal exercises.