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Rady Children's Specialists

Cleft Lip and Palate Plastic Surgery

Treatment of the birth defects cleft lip and palate at Rady Children’s Hospital involves repair of a gap in the upper lip and/or the roof of the mouth, due to lack of fusion. The skill and experience of the pediatric plastic surgeon is critical to maximizing aesthetic and functional outcomes, while also minimizing pediatric plastic surgery, hospital stay, and long-term costs for cleft palate and cleft lip repair.

Approximately one in 700 children are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. This condition may be associated with a number of difficulties in feeding and nutrition, dentition, facial growth, speech, and sleep or breathing. Kids who might have these birth defects should see health professionals for patient care.

Surgical treatment of cleft palate and cleft lip repair at Rady Children’s Hospital is carried out over a series of years to be timed with the patient’s facial growth. Craniofacial team care from health professionals is mandatory to achieve the best outcomes to help with repairing the birth defects and will ensure proper sequencing of the various surgery procedures listed below.