Cleft lip and palate is the most common congenital malformation after the attached finger anomaly. If a family member has a cleft lip or palate, the possibility of the disease in the newborn increases significantly.
Cleft lip can be in the form of a small notch on the upper lip, or in its most advanced form, a full slit extending from the lip to the nose. Cleft lip can be unilateral or bilateral, double sided cleft will increase the problem. Babies born with cleft lip do not have feeding problems. In very wide cleft lip, there may be problems in holding and sucking the breast. This problem can be solved by feeding with a spoon or by feeding a bottle with a palate. Patients with cleft lip are usually operated when they are 3-4 months old, if the child’s development is sufficient (usually it is desired to be over 5 kilograms), if there is no other concomitant disease or if this disease does not prevent the operation and the blood level is good, the patient can be operated on.
Cleft Palate are treated separately, even if they are combined with Cleft Lips. Sucking problems may occur in children with cleft palate. This situation can be eliminated by using a bottle with a palate or by starting with a spoon, and thanks to the plaques made on the palate, children can perform the sucking function. The plaques made on the palate have a special importance in the development and shaping of the palate. Cleft palate can be completely or partially unilateral or bilateral, as in cleft lip. Because of the possibility that early operations in cleft palate may affect bone development badly, surgery is avoided very early, but these operations should be completed before the speaking age begins. Therefore, surgery can be performed after 6 months in cleft palate that does not contain bone structure, while this period increases up to 1.5 years of age in cleft palate. .
Nose correction surgeries can be performed between the ages of 2-6 after severe lip clefts that have disrupted the nasal structure. Despite everything, some surgeries are left after the age of 18 in order not to impair bone and cartilage development in these patients with advanced problems.