Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery
Each year in the United States, around 7,000 children are born with a cleft lip or palate. A cleft lip can typically be corrected through one surgery while a cleft palate (opening in the roof of the mouth) can require multiple surgeries to fully correct.
Oral Surgery Associates has served the area for more than 20 years. Through our many years of experience, our doctors recommend that cleft lip or palate surgery should be performed early on to prevent potential physical or emotional concerns related to the congenital condition. Our Monroe, LA, practice serves Ruston and West Monroe.
Cleft Lip Surgery
It is recommended that children undergo cleft lift surgery between two and six months of age. While each patient’s treatment timeline varies, a cleft lip can typically be fully corrected with one surgery. Children who undergo this safe procedure can benefit from:
- Restored lip shape
- Restored lip muscle function
- A more attractive smile
- Prevention of potential speech impediments
- Restored feeding abilities
Cleft Palate Surgery
The main goal of cleft palate repair is to close an opening in the roof of a child’s mouth. The procedure will allow your child to speak and eat normally. To prevent speech impediments from developing, we recommend that cleft palate surgery is performed between nine and 18 months of age. Children who undergo palate surgery at a young age can benefit from:
- A more functional palate
- Reduced risk that fluid will build in the middle ears
- Proper development of the teeth
- Proper development of facial bones
- Prevention of emotional concerns related to having a cleft palate
Who Is a Good Candidate for this Procedure?
Most children who have a cleft lip or cleft palate are good candidates for this reconstructive surgery. If cleft lip or palate surgery is not performed at an early age, the child may experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Delayed speech development
- Poor eating habits
- Difficulty breastfeeding
Malformed lips and palates can also increase your child’s risk for colds and ear infections. During your consultation at our medical facility, one of our doctors will determine if reconstructive surgery is recommended for your child.
Our practice is home to many of the most experienced oral surgeons in the area.
Treatment and Recovery
Both cleft lip and palate surgery are performed using general anesthesia. In the weeks before surgery, your child may need to wear a molding plate to encourage the growth of tissue near the treatment site.
The actual surgery may take one to two hours to complete, and some children may require multiple surgeries. Our doctors work with dissolvable stitches which leave a small, discreet scar.
Following surgery, your child may need to stay at a nearby hospital for monitoring for a few days to one week. Full recovery typically takes four weeks. One of our doctors will provide you with detailed recovery guidelines to take home. We understand that parents are often nervous about placing their child’s health and wellbeing in the hands of another. Our practice is home to many of the most experienced oral surgeons in the area, and we will be glad to take all the time necessary to speak with you and answer your questions so you can feel comfortable placing your child under our care.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Early treatment of a cleft lip or palate is critical to ensuring that your child experiences the best health and emotional outcomes. By working with Oral Surgery Associates, your child can experience results that provide important benefits for the rest of his or her life. To schedule your consultation, please contact our office online or call (318) 388-2621.