What is a Cleft Lip?

A cleft lip is when a child is born with a space in the upper lip where the lip is not fully closed.
There are two types::

  • Complete Cleft
  • Partial Cleft


What is a Cleft Palate?

The palate is bone and tissue at the top of the mouth, which blocks food from going into your nose.

Some babies are born with a hole in their palate, This is called a cleft palate. Babies with a cleft palate have problems with feeding, speech, hearing and sometimes breathing.

How does a cleft lip and/or palate affect a child?

If a child is born with both cleft lip and palate feeding can be hard with a standard bottle. If a child is born with just a cleft lip feeding is not an issue.

A child with a cleft palate will have feeding issues because there is a hole between the mouth and  the nose; There is a specific bottle to help with feeding a child with a cleft palate.

 
How is the Cleft Palate Repaired
Surgery can be done to repair the palate.
Surgery is done between 9 and 15 months.

Tactile graphic: bottom left - upper lip with cleft; bottom right - cleft lip repaired
L: Cleft lip R: Cleft lip repaired

Treatments
A team of professionals can help a child with a cleft lip and/or palate.
Team members may include:

  • Plastic surgeons
  • Ears, nose & throat doctors
  • Hearing specialists
  • Nurses
  • Speech therapists
  • Geneticists
  • Pediatric dentists
  • Orthodontists
  • Psychologists and social workers