Cleft Palate Repair

Cleft Palate in Children

Cleft palate is the incomplete formation of a child’s mouth roof. It is one of the most common birth defects in America, with over 594 newborns affected each year. Also known as Palatoschisis, a cleft palate occurs during the first three months of pregnancy, or when a fetus’s mouth starts to develop.

A cleft palate can appear on one or both sides of the face. Sometimes, it can also affect a child’s upper lip, which results to a cleft lip. Cleft palates occur because of many reasons. The disorder can run in families, while it can also completely rely on genetic predisposition. Cleft palates can also be because of environmental risk factors or a rare condition called Pierre Robin Syndrome.

Cleft Palate Repair and Treatment

An infant can undergo cleft palate treatment as early as two months of age. The exact timing of the treatment depends on the child’s health and considerations of his or her future development.

The cleft palate repair procedure involves a series of steps, including the following:

  • Anesthesia. The infant will receive intravenous sedation or general anesthesia to ensure that he or she feels no pain during the surgery.
  • Incision. This is where the actual repair begins. The step requires careful repositioning of the tissue and muscles that will close the cleft and rebuild the roof of the mouth. The surgeon will stitch the tissues at the midline of the mouth, which will allow the child to eat and speak normally. 
  • Closing of Incisions. The surgeon will close the cleft palate incisions with removable or absorbable sutures. Surgery aftercare follows.

Cleft palate repair complications occur infrequently after surgery. Parents just have to provide utmost care for their children to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

Specialized Cleft Palate Treatments from Craniofacial MD

Craniofacial MD provides safe and effective cleft palate treatment to children in Salt Lake City, Utah. Headed by Dr. Rodney Schmelzer, our team of specialists has provided successful cleft palate repairs for children aged three months and above. We are proud to be part of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Cleft-Palate Craniofacial Association.

If your child is in need of a cleft palate repair, do not hesitate to contact us today. We will be happy to answer all of your inquiries.