Cleft Lips and Palates Repair


Nobody is sure what causes cleft lips and palates which is an opening or split in the upper lip or the roof of the mouth.  It could be genetic or from prenatal care or it might occur in the fetal phase. It may require multiple surgeries starting when the baby is around 3 months old. The initial surgery creates a functional palate which reduces the chances that fluid will develop in the middle ears and the teeth and helps facial bones develop properly. Patients might need a bone graft later to fill-in the upper gum line to stabilize the upper jaw and support permanent teeth. Additional surgery can be performed on the look of the lip and nose and to close openings between the nose and mouth.

Ideal candidates are children born with an opening or split in the roof of the mouth or the upper lift. Patients should be at least three months old before having their first surgery to repair the lip and palate.

The cost of a cleft lip procedure is anywhere from $2500-$15,000. The repair process requires multiple operations since the repairs take place in multiple stages. The final cost varies by the number of surgeries performed, the extent of the work performed by the surgeon and any fees charged by the surgeon or the facility.

The stitches from the surgery will dissolve naturally or be removed by the surgeon after a week. There will be some swelling and bruising in the treated area. There will be a special diet the child will need to follow for a bit after the surgery. The child can resume normal activities but should avoid rough playing. The final results after the assigned number of surgeries will be a normally functioning upper lip and roof of the mouth that also has a normal appearance without the opening or split.

Facial Reconstruction

Facial Reconstruction

submitted on   Tue Apr, 14, 2015 by Jacob Steiger, MD     
Facial reconstruction can encompass any corrective surgeries that alleviate deformities or eliminate abnormalities all together. With ailments ranging from cleft palate to skin defects, this broad term can be used to describe any corrective procedure that brings the face to a “normal” state.1