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Cleft Lip and PalateCleft lip and palate repair is a major need throughout the world. Many children suffer from these conditions that can be treated with plastic surgery. Luckily, a lot of work is being done to address this problem. Consider a recent article for the Hindu Business Line titled “Smile Train completes 30,000 cleft lip surgeries for children.”

According to the author of the article, “Smile Train India, an international NGO in its decade and half of operations in India has completed 30,000 cleft lip surgeries for children. Further, these surgeries have been done free of cost and Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Hospital has performed around 7,000 of them, company officials said. Satish Kalra, Chief Programs Officer, Smile Train said: ‘In India, 35,000 children are born with clefts every year and almost 10 lakh people live with cleft defects as they cannot afford the corrective surgery.’ Cleft lip and palate are birth defects caused due to tissues of the face not properly joining together during development. They are often caused due to alcohol, hypertension, smoking, exposure to lead and pesticide at the time of pregnancy. Typically, this issue needs 5-6 surgeries, which cost on an average of Rs. 2 lakh per surgery. ‘Apart from the expense, it causes a lot of trauma for the patients,’ added Kalra.”

Nogales International also looks at cleft lip repair in a recent article titled “Cleft lip/palate clinic changes lives in Mexico.” Dan Shearer of Nogales International writes, “The sign on the building says ‘Hospital CIMA,’ but the lobby looks and sounds like a bustling conference center, with colorful balloons, soaring banners and lots of hugs and smiles. Down a long corridor, laughter and singing pour from a small, crowded auditorium, masking the serious, often gut-wrenching work that will roll out here over the next five days. Every October since 2005, young Mexican families have traveled to Hermosillo, Sonora, seeking help they can’t find or afford anywhere else in the country. They exchange handshakes and smiles in the hallway of the private hospital, knowing that every one of them is sharing the journey: Their children were born with cleft lips and palates, and this is their opportunity to edge closer to a normal life. The Cleft Palate/Cleft Lip Mission is a partnership among Hospital CIMA, Children’s Surgery International of Minneapolis, and St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic, based in Green Valley. St. Andrew’s is known for its monthly clinics in Nogales, Ariz., that draw needy families from Mexico whose children are helped with everything from hearing problems to prosthetics. The annual cleft palate mission in Hermosillo is financed through donations and, most recently, by a big push from the Apgar Foundation. The mission’s work goes far beyond cosmetic. Cleft palates and lips lead to eating, speech and dental issues, putting a child’s health at risk right from birth. All of that drives a sense of urgency that sits just below the surface throughout the week.”

If you’re considering cleft lip or palate repair, you need a surgeon you can trust. Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. is internationally known and acknowledged. He is board certified with The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

We usually do cleft lip repair when the child is one to three months old. Prior to surgery, you will meet with specialists to help ensure your child is healthy and gaining any necessary weight. The doctor will also discuss anesthesia options with you.

Considering cleft lip or palate repair? Contact us for a consultation.