A small cut that appear in the lip is called cleft lip. There may be a complete split in the lip that goes all the way to the base of the nose. Cleft palate can be on one side or both the sides of the mouth.
The birth defect of the upper lip and palate is corrected through cleft lip and palate surgery. Cleft lip and cleft palate are two common birth defects seen in children. Cleft lip is also known as cheiloschisis and cleft palate is otherwise called palatoschisis. Both these conditions may occur together or individually. These are congenital disorders and develop in the child during a very early stage of development.
Cleft lip or palate correction and surgery is done only when the child is six to twelve week old. The surgery will be done under a general anesthesia. The cleft lip surgery is meant to close the separation in the lip and make the lip function normally. The surgeon will make incisions on the either sides of the cleft and create flaps of tissue. The cleft is closed by getting the flaps and stitching them together.
To repair the cleft palate, the the tissues and muscles will be carefully repositioned close to the cleft and reconstruct the roof of the mouth. It is done by making incisions on the either sides of the cleft. After repositioning the muscles and the hard and soft components, the incisions will be closed with sutures.
Specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site after the surgery will be given to you by the surgeon. The surgery will give you a better result. Your child will be able to breathe, eat and speak comfortably and in a better way after the surgery.