One in every 600 to 800 babies is affected by cleft lip or palate. The cause is unknown, although it is thought that genetic factors play a role in a small proportion of cases.
Surgery is to repair the facial cleft so that your child’s appearance and speech develop normally. However, children born with a cleft lip or palate may need the skills of several medical professionals to correct the problems associated with the cleft. In addition to needing plastic surgery to repair the opening, these children may have problems with their feeding and their teeth, their hearing, their speech, and their psychological development as they grow up.
Depending on the location and severity of the cleft, treatment is generally staged:
- Lip +/- anterior hard palate repair 3-6 months
- Soft Palate – 9 to 12 months often with grommets placed at this time
- Pharyngoplasty if speech does not develop normally 5-7 years
- Bone grafts for the upper jaw 9-10 years of age
- Ongoing dental and orthodontic care
- Jaw bone realignment (Orthognathic surgery)
- Subsequent cosmetic operations – these may be necessary as the child matures ie rhinoplasty, lip revision
Your child may need some or all of these treatments, depending on their condition. Dr Miteff will be able to better advise what is best for your child.
Dr Miteff performs surgery at :
- Lingard Private Hospital
- Warners Bay Private Hospital
- John Hunter Children’s Hospital
- Belmont District Hospital (>14 years)