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Cleft LipCleft lip and palate are conditions that affect numerous children throughout the world. Currently, country’s like India are putting significant effort into raising awareness. Consider a recent article for The Hindu titled “Cleft awareness programme begins tomorrow.”

According to the author of the article, “Jipmer is conducting the ‘Jipmer Smile Train Cleft Awareness Week’ from August 10 to 16. Cleft lip is gap in the upper lip which may extend up to nostril and causes deformity of face. It may involve one side or both sides of the face. The cleft palate could be incomplete, complete on one side or bilateral in nature. Cleft lip and palate can occur either separately or together. Cleft lip and palate are usually associated with nasal deformities, teeth deformities, face deformities, speech problems, ear problems and feeding problems. Treatment of cleft lip and palate, done by plastic surgeons with involvement of multiple teams including dentists, anaesthetists and speech therapists, involves various procedures done at different ages which include palate repair, lip repair, nose corrections dental corrections, speech therapy and nutritional advice. The Smile Train Project has been on in Jipmer since July 2014. Smile Train is an organisation headquartered in New York, involved in training and creating awareness of physicians, surgeons, dentist, speech therapist, paramedics, nursing care givers and parents of affected children. The initiative will be driven by a team led by S.C. Parija, director, Jipmer , and comprising R. K. Chittoria, Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery, S. Dinesh Kumar, Friji MT, and D. P. Mohapatra, cleft surgeons, and Pankaj Kundra, Head of the Department of Anesthesia.”

Across the Pacific Ocean, cleft lip and palate are conditions that affect many children in the United States. Plastic surgery can correct these conditions. 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.

Incisions are made on either side of the cleft during the procedure. By doing this, it creates flaps of tissue that can be stitched together to close the opening of the cleft. After the cleft is repaired, your surgeon may also construct a cupid’s bow, the curve at the center of the lip. Repairs like these are generally made with small, absorbable stitches that will not need to be removed at a later date.

Following surgery, your child may spend one to two days in the hospital for recovery. During that time, you will be taught how to properly care for the surgical site and given instructions for your child’s diet, which will likely include only liquids until the wound heals completely.

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