Cleft lip and palate are considered some of the most common birth anomalies in North America. This condition is characterized by the incomplete formation of the upper lip, roof of the mouth, or both. Cleft lip and palate can occur on one or both sides of the mouth. One of the only treatment options for cleft lip and palate is the completion of oral surgery.
Fortunately, at Bel Viso, we specialize in the care of oral and facial surgeries and have extensive work and knowledge when it comes to modern approaches. We believe that it is important to stay on the cutting edge of the medical field so we can offer our patients the best options when it comes to their care.
The Causes of Cleft Lip and Palate
Cleft lip and palate are caused by the separation of the upper lip or roof of the mouth. This issue occurs very early in the development of unborn children. In some cases, the inability of the cleft has been linked to the presence of a specific type of syndrome, but for many children, the cause will never be known. However, when the syndrome can be ruled out, doctors and scientists believe that the cleft is the result of a mix of genetic and environmental factors.
The Goals of Surgery
Cleft lip and palate can have a profound effect on a person’s ability to breathe, eat, speak, and even hear. The first goal of these surgeries is typically to correct these issues. As an additional benefit, these surgeries can also improve the appearance of cleft lip too, sometimes making the effects so minor that nobody even recognizes that there was an issue.
Not Just Cosmetic
While many people only see the results of cleft lip surgery and think that the goal was to alter the person’s appearance and reduce the visible effects of cleft lip, the team at Bel Viso really want to make sure that we improve each patient’s quality of life. This is especially true in the case of cleft lip and palate.
Because a cleft palate also forms the floor of the nasal cavity, surgery can be successful in:
- Separating mouth and nasal tissue and structures
- Establishing soft palate muscle function and promoting normal speech patterns
- Bring the soft palate into normal orientation with the Eustachian tube to allow for normal hearing
- Promote normal growth of the teeth in the upper jaw
When to Consider the Surgery
Generally, the best time for a person to have the cleft lip or palate surgery is when they are between two and six months of age, although it does not mean that patients who are older should not have a consultation.
The operations are normally part of a series of operations. The cleft lip is typically repaired first; then the cleft palate surgeries begin when the child is between nine and eighteen months old, depending on the specific case.
Checking for insurance
Most insurance plans consider that cleft lip and palate surgeries are necessary and effective for proper growth and development. For this reason, the surgeries are generally covered by your insurance. However, if you have questions, feel free to contact our offices, and we can work with you to make sure that we have a good understanding of what your insurance will cover so that you do not have any surprises. Our staff wants to make sure that we take care of you.
When you are considering oral surgeries for the correction of cleft lip and palate, you deserve the best. That is why you should call Bel Viso Oral & Facial Surgery to schedule your consultation today!