Things you need to know:
- Cleft palate is a deformity found in babies that is treatable by a cosmetic surgeon
- A cleft palate can be treated before birth also if diagnosed at the right time in an ultrasound
- If surgery is not performed for a cleft palate, it can lead to speech problems when a child is older
Cleft palate or cleft lip
Split between the upper lip or an opening in the roof of the mouth is known as a cleft lip or cleft palate.
This is one of the most common abnormalities found in newborns. The formation of the lips of the unborn happens in around 6 to 8th weeks of pregnancy. Clip lip happens when the tissue that helps in the formation of lips does not unite completely before birth, leaving an opening in the upper lip.
Symptoms of cleft palate
Though a split in the lip or palate is easy and immediately identified at birth. But the following can be a few symptoms that may go unnoticed:-
- Having difficulty nursing or drinking from a bottle
- Issues with swallowing
- Problems with speech
- Developmental issues with teeth
- Infections in the ears/temporary hearing loss
- Split in the roof of the mouth sometimes does not affect the facial structure
Types of Cleft Lip
There can be two types of clip lip: a bilateral cleft lip and a unilateral cleft lip.
Causes and risk factors
- Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a cleft palate
- Women with diabetes before pregnancy have a much higher risk of having a child with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate
- Women who were on specific medication during the first three months of pregnancy have a higher chance of delivering a baby with cleft lip with or without cleft palate
- Women who are obese during pregnancy are more deliver babies with cleft lip and palate
- If there is a history of cleft lip or palate in the family, there is a high risk of having a child with a cleft palate condition
If cleft lip or cleft palate is not operated there can be several complications:-
- Breathing problems in the baby
- The teeth’s development may be hampered
- Speech difficulties
- Due to the apparent disparities, a child may be a victim of social, emotional, and behavioral differences in society.
Treatment of cleft lip and cleft palate
It is essential to treat the cleft lip and palate as it will help improve the child’s ability to eat, speak, and hear and also maintain a normal facial appearance.
The surgery performed is done in such a way that it leaves the least possible appearance of scar on the face. The scar might fade to a certain level but will always be visible to some extent.
Plastic surgeons will guide the parents through the whole surgery to make them aware of how it will be performed and explain to them its favorable outcomes. It will help the child to feel less insecure and will build up his/her confidence.
During the process:-
- The doctor will give the bay local anesthesia to avoid any discomfort and pain.
- To make the surgery more comfortable, the surgeon will insert ear tubes to prevent ear fluid from accumulating and causing hearing loss
- Once the surgery is performed, your child’s appearance, ability to eat, breathe, speak and live a better quality of life will all improve considerably
A cleft palate can be a result of genetic and other lifestyle factors. Consult a specialist to find the exact cause of cleft palate.
Yes, a cleft palate can be seen in an ultrasound.
Lips begin to form around 6-8 weeks during pregnancy. If a cleft lip is present during a 20th-week scan, it will be seen during the ultrasound.