About one in every 800 babies is born with a cleft lip or palate defect. This occurs when the left and right sides of the mouth or lip do not connect properly. This procedure involves complex and personalized reshaping of the area.
Who Can Benefit From Cleft Lip Surgery?
- Babies born with a cleft lip, in which the sides of of the lip do not join.
- Babies born with a cleft palate, in which the sides of the roof of the mouth do not join properly.
- Babies born with a combination of these two conditions.
- Patients of any age who have lived with this condition since birth.
Cleft Lip Surgery in Orange County: What to Expect
- In the initial consultation, the patient will be thoroughly examined and a surgical plan established. Dr. Krugman may include other specialists in the treatment process to ensure the best possible outcome.
- General anesthetic is typically applied to ensure that the patient is comfortable. This also prevents any additional movement during the procedure.
- For cleft lip repair, incisions are made along each edge of the cleft. The muscles and tissue within are stretched to cover the separation and joined together. The skin is stretched to cover the repair.
- For cleft palate repair, an incision is made on each edge of the palate separation. The tissue is pulled outward and joined to cover the separation. The skin of the palate is stretched to cover the repair.
- Rhinoplasty work may be necessary for the best final result. The skin and tissue of the nose will be adjusted through internal incisions. This may be done with one procedure or over the course of several procedures.
What Happens After Cleft Lip Surgery?
- The incisions may be covered with bandages or surgical tape. Some pain or discomfort may be experienced for the first few days. This can be managed with medication.
- For infant patients, restraints may be necessary for the first few days to prevent the child from damaging the area. Eating and drinking may be reduced or done intravenously.
- External stitches may often be removed within a week. Internal stitches may dissolve on their own. The incision lines should continue to fade over the next year, but may never fade completely.
- A small plastic ventilation tube may be placed in the ear at some time in the future. This helps prevent ear infections, an increased risk in cleft lip or palate patients.
Schedule Your Consultation
Dr. Krugman is happy to discuss the specifics of your situation in detail during your consultation. Your surgical options, insurance information and possible additional specialists will also be thoroughly covered at that time. Call 714‐972‐1811 to schedule a consultation. Our office is located in the Tustin/Santa Ana area at 720 N. Tustin Ave., Suite 202, Santa Ana, CA 92705.