Clefts, or openings, in the lip or palate (the roof of the mouth) form before birth. These birth defects can interfere with a child’s or adult’s ability to eat and talk. At LVHN, our board-certified plastic surgeons perform reconstructive procedures to close these openings. In addition to helping improve breathing, speech and swallowing, surgery also improves appearance. We understand that it can be scary to undergo a surgical procedure, or to have your child undergo one. Our team is with you through every step of the process, answering questions and providing compassionate care.
Treating cleft palate
A cleft palate is a gap, or opening, in the roof of the mouth. A baby may have a cleft in the front (hard) palate, back (soft) palate or both palates.
During cleft palate surgery, our skilled plastic surgeons close the opening in the roof of the mouth. For children, this surgery typically takes place within the first 18 months of a child’s life. As your child grows, additional corrective surgeries may be necessary.
Treating cleft lip
Cleft lips occur when an infant’s lip doesn’t join completely, creating a gap.
Surgery to close this lip opening typically occurs sometime during a baby’s first six months of life. When your child stops growing, additional cosmetic procedures, such as lip revision, can improve the shape of the lips.
Adults also may benefit from cleft lip revision surgery to improve the appearance of a previously treated cleft lip.