A cleft lip is a condition that is present at birth in which the lip is not completely fused together. There degrees of the birth defect including unilateral complete, unilateral incomplete and bilateral complete, and the most common side effect associated with the condition is nutritional concern. a child is likely to have trouble sucking or latching on, and this is the deciding factor in the timing of the plastic surgery, though some children with a cleft that only affects the lip can assimilate and learn to suck.
A cleft palate carries with it more complicated set of inabilities. The hard or soft palate can be affected by this birth defect, and hindrances to these parts of the mouth are associated with many more complex issues. Froe example, the proximity of the cleft to the ears can cause draining issues. Children who experience this should be closely monitored by an ear nose and throat specialist (ENT) to gage the seriousness of the complications. Chronic ear infections and drainage and nasal issues that left untreated, can cause partial or total hearing loss are often associated with the congenital defect.
Usually a patient with the condition will be closely watched by a team of medical professionals to include the aforementioned ENT, a pediatrician, a nutritionist, a speech pathologist, and a plastic surgeon with the pediatrician being the reoffering doctor and/or primary care physician. Difficulties with the ears can cause issues with hearing and therefore speech, and these coupled with the palate’s role in linguistics most certainly entails a major need for speech and language therapy. even if the condition is corrected in infancy, a scarred lip can cause articulation problems while lack of hearing, even if it is sporadic, hinders acquisition. The two disabilities together cause a major delay in communication ability.
Of course hearing, communicating, are three categories of human need that cannot be left to chance, which is why plastic surgery to correct the conditions of a cleft lip and/or a cleft palate should be done as early in infancy as the medical community will allow. There is a false assumption among society that parents of children with the condition often seek to have it corrected solely for aesthetic reasons and coping reasons, but the truth is that surgery is necessary early in life for a child to prosper, and in cases where consumption of nutrition is at stake, the surgery is absolutely imperative for sustenance of life.
It is estimated that one in seven hundred births results in a baby with a cleft lip or palate, and the visual effects of the concern actually work in a child’s favor. it is because of the immediately noticeable characteristics that the condition and debilitating effects can be caught and treated early.