A cleft lip and/or palate (roof of the mouth) occurs when the sides of the lip and/or palate do not come together during the formation of the baby’s head and neck early in pregnancy. This incomplete development usually leaves an opening in these areas.
Treatment of Cleft Lip and Palate
An important part of your child’s treatment is locating a Cleft and Craniofacial Team. Several specialists are part of this team to help coordinate and treat your child over several years through your child’s development. The Cleft and Craniofacial Team at St. Mary’s Hospital is qualified and ready to take care of your child.
A cleft lip is usually repaired in the first months of your child’s life. A cleft palate is usually repaired in the first year of life. The timing of the surgeries may depend on your child’s conditions as well as the type of surgery your plastic surgeon will perform.
Other important specialists your child may need to see are feeding and speech therapists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists and prosthodontists, oral surgeons, otolaryngologists (ENT) and audiologists, and psychologists. To learn more about treatment of cleft lip and/or palate in Richmond, VA, please call to meet with one of our pediatric craniofacial surgeons.