Friday, May 15, 2015

What is a Cleft ? | Impact or Value Creation ?

A cleft lip (CL) is a separation in the upper lip. A cleft palate (CP) is an opening in the roof of the mouth. Clefts result from incomplete development of the lip and/or palate in the early weeks of pregnancy. During this time the face is being formed - the top and the two sides develop at the same time and grow towards each other, finally fusing in the middle. The lip and primary palate develop at 4 to 6 weeks of gestation, while the secondary palate develops at approximately nine weeks.

What can be done ?

Cleft lip and cleft palate are correctable birth defects. Treatment of cleft begins within months of birth with corrective surgery, and continues in one form or another until the person reaches their late teens.

Primary surgery begins with the lip repair at about 3 or 4 months and palate repair between 6 and 12 months. Cosmetic surgery on the nose may occur before the child attends school. A corrective rhinoplasty may be performed on the nose in the teenage years. Orthodontic surgery begins with maxilla expansion at around 9 to 10 years followed by bone grafting. Further corrective surgery (an osteotomy) may be carried out at about 18 years.

Cleft lip and palate treatment involves a multidisciplinary team including a plastic surgeon, ENT surgeon, maxillofacial surgeon, orthodontist, and speech and language therapist.

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