Cleft lip is a problem plaguing people across the globe, especially children. In India, people are marching to raise awareness. The Times of India reports on this in a recent article titled “Smile walkathon to raise awareness on cleft lip-free India mission.”
Subhro Niyogi of the Times of India writes, “Operation Smile India held ‘A Mile for Smile-Walkathon’ at Vivekananda Park with over 100 participants who support the mission of a cleft-free India. Actress Locket Chatterjee was present to support the cause along with hockey Olympian Mr.Gurbux Singh, Operation Smile India chief pperating officer col. Shivaji Samaddar (retd) and members of the Kolkata team. The Walk-A-Thon had been organized as curtain raiser event for the forthcoming 10th Kolkata mission. Representatives from mission partners and mission supporters also joined in. The Walk-A-Thon started from Vivekananda Park, passing through Safari Park and Lake Kali Bari, and back to Vivekananda Park. This charity walk saw hundreds of citizens join the rally to support the cause.”
All Africa discusses ways to address this problem in a recent article titled “Tanzania: Cleft Lips Can Be Corrected.” Sosthenes Mwita of All Africa writes, “I am now aware that one or both defects may occur in early pregnancy for various reasons, but most of the problems they might cause can be solved a few months after birth. Plastic surgery has invariably been the best answer. As the child grows, speech therapy may be necessary. A cleft lip is usually repaired surgically by the age of three months and a cleft palate can be corrected (surgically) when the child is aged between six and 15 months. A baby may be born with a cleft lip defect on its own or both a cleft lip and a cleft palate. A cleft lip is a split in the upper lip and a cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. Sometimes a cleft lip is referred to in a rather offensive way as a hare lip because it resembles that of the hare or the rabbit. People with cleft lips have their front teeth (incisors) visible all the time.”
As Mwita states, plastic surgery is the best answer. With this procedure, you’ll need a doctor you can trust.
Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. is an internationally known and acknowledged surgeon. He 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.
With cleft lip surgery, incisions are made on either side of the cleft. Doing this 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. Generally, these repairs are made with small, absorbable stitches that will not need to be removed at a later date.
Following the procedure, your child may spend one to three days in the hospital for recovery. During that time, we will teach you how to properly care for the surgical site and we will give you instructions for your child’s diet, which will likely include only liquids until the wound heals completely.
If you’re considering cleft lip surgery, contact Dr. Moulton-Barrett for a consultation.