Cleft Lip and Cleft palate
Cleft lip and cleft palate are problem of upper lip and soft and hard palate respectively. In this condition children are born with a vertical cut in upper lip and palate. This is a congenital problem. These children are otherwise healthy and have no other problem.
What are problems associated with Cleft–
Children with cleft lip problem mainly has aesthetic problem. Cleft lip reduced their face value and their parents do not feel happy. When these children grow older they are not comfortable their peers in school.
Children with cleft lip are not able to speak few letters. These letters are called as labial letters. Lip is used to spell these letters lip P,B, Bh, Ph, M. So their speech is not very clear.
Those who have cleft palate they have feeding problem and speech problem. Whenever they take milk or liquid it comes out through their nose. Patient with cleft palate are not able to suck breast milk properly. So these children lose weight if not managed properly.
Treatment of Cleft Lip –
Clefts of lip as well as palate are treated by surgery. This surgery is done by plastic surgeons who are experienced in treating such cases. In This surgery not only skin but lip muscles are also repaired. Similarly it is very important to repair muscles of soft palate so that child can speak properly
Best Age of Cleft Surgery:-
Cleft lip is best treated at age of 3-5 months. Early treatment of lip gives fine scar which looks aesthetically better. Treatment of lip cleft help in normal development of jaw and teeth.
Cleft palate is treated at age of 10-12 month because a child start speaking at age of 1 year. If palate is not treated before 2 year of age speech of child becomes defective and unclear.