Many of us have seen the heartbreaking commercials depicting children with cleft lips and cleft palates. If you’re unfamiliar with these conditions, Web MD describes them as follows: “Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside the mother. Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly. A cleft lip is a physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip and appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of the upper lip. This separation often extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum. A cleft palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. A cleft palate can involve the hard palate (the bony front portion of the roof of the mouth), and/or the soft palate (the soft back portion of the roof of the mouth).Cleft lip and cleft palate can occur on one or both sides of the mouth. Because the lip and the palate develop separately, it is possible to have a cleft lip without a cleft palate, a cleft palate without a cleft lip, or both together.” These conditions require surgery to correct. That surgery can be life changing, as evidenced by a recet article in the Daily Mail, titled “Proud grandfather shares 18-month-old granddaughter’s incredible progress after surgery for severe cleft palate.” According to Anneta Konstantinides of the Daily Mail, “Eighteen-month-old Lexi Grace was born in June 2013 with a severe cleft palate and lip. Her grandfather wrote that, although she suffered from discomfort and struggled with feeding, Lexi Grace was still ‘a happy baby’… The happy grandfather says that, six months after the surgery, Lexi Grace has healed tremendously.’You can’t even tell there was a problem to begin with,’ he wrote.” If you have a child with a cleft lip and/or palate, you could benefit from cleft lip and palate repair surgery performed by Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. Dr. Moulton-Barrett is an internationally known and acknowledged surgeon who is board certified in two distinct surgical specialties, The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The cleft lip and palate repairs will improve your child’s ability to eat, speak, hear, and breathe. It will also restore a more normal appearance and function. If you’re looking into cleft lip and/or palate repair, request a consultation with Rex Moulton-Barrett, M.D.
Cleft lip surgery – at birth (left) and age 15.