Utah’s Choice for Cleft Lip & Palate Surgery
During the first months of life, the focus is on feeding and gaining weight. Cleft lips are usually repaired at around age 3 months, once the child has gained sufficient weight. Cleft lip repair usually takes a few hours and involves a post-operative overnight hospital stay. Bottle or breast feeding can be resumed after the surgery.
Cleft palates are usually repaired at about one year of age. Treatment of a cleft lip and cleft palate involves a team of cleft specialists, including pediatric plastic surgeons; pediatric dentists; pediatric orthodontists; speech pathologists; cleft nurses; audiologists; pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeons; psychologists; and social workers.
After a cleft palate is repaired, the child will stay in the hospital for 1-2 days. Over the next few years, the child is followed and monitored for appropriate speech development. In some children, additional procedures may be necessary to improve the palate’s function during speech.
A few years later, a bone graft can be performed to close the cleft in the gums. For this procedure, bone is taken from the hip and grafted into the gum line. This procedure not only fills in the gap in the gums, but also provides stable bone to support developing teeth. This is coordinated with the pediatric orthodontist.
In the teenage years, jaw growth is monitored and, if necessary, jaw surgery is performed to align the bite. Also, final adjustments can be made in the lip and nose.
The pediatric surgical team at NuVista Plastic Surgery’s Utah office is trained in all the skills necessary to carefully, humanely and effectively treat your child’s cleft lip or palate. We have been helping Utah children as well as other in-town and out-of-town clients for more than 30 years. Use the form on the right to contact us so that we can schedule a consultation.