Cleft Lip / Palate -
Causes and Treatments
Cleft lip or hair lip is a visible congenital ailment characterized by a cleft between the lateral and medial lip segments. The palatal plates in the roof of the mouth fail to close in the unborn child. The resulting cleft may appear on the soft palate. If the fissure extends forward through the hard palate, it causes the nasal cavity to open into the mouth, in which case the nasal septum is absent. Cleft palate may be unilateral or bilateral. It may occur alone or with a cleft lip, a gap of the lip beneath the nostril or other deformities. Only an experienced plastic surgeon can offer proper treatment for these disorders. This article discusses the causes and treatments for cleft lip/palate.
What Causes Cleft Lip/Palate? The causes for the cleft lip and palate are not actually known, though researchers have put forward several theories. The top lip and/or roof of the mouth of the fetus are disrupted, which is usually believed to be the result of one or more of the following factors: defective genes, vitamin deficiency, viral illness, or alcohol consumption, and so on. Children with this condition can face: -
Feeding issues Hearing impairment Dental and orthodontic issues Speech problems Reduced self-esteem Social isolation
Cleft Lip Surgery Early intervention to evaluate and treat your child is essential in cleft lip and/or cleft palate repair. In addition to surgical repair of the cleft, the course of treatment may include speech rehabilitation and dental correction. Preoperative adjustment involves nasal alveolar molding or NAM, a lengthy process which mainly involves realigning the upper jawâ€™s cleft segments. The cleft lip edges are brought closer to allow precise cleft repair and correction of nose deformities. An upper jaw mold is created using maxillary impressions after which an acrylic plate is constructed using this mold. The plate is then fitted to childâ€™s mouth. Adjustments are made on a weekly basis to correctly align the growing bone. The jaw alignment is followed by significant lip alignment improvement, after which nasal correction is initiated. A stent is placed from the plate extending to nostril and the nasal tip is elevated. Finally, the lining of nose is stretched.
Treatment at an Established Plastic Surgery Center is Important To be assured of an effective treatment for cleft lip/palate for your child, you should focus on finding a reliable surgical center with a plastic surgeon who has vast experience in the field. This will ensure - Accurate and aesthetic results - Minimal scarring and discomfort - Reduced surgical trauma Some well-known surgeons even offer reconstructive surgical treatment for children regardless of financial resources.