A cleft lip, cleft palate, or both, can be devastating news to a new parent. Fortunately, clefts of the lip and palate are conditions that can be treated with early surgery in order to minimize any long-term functional or cosmetic defect.
Cleft lip and palate are estimated to occur in approximately 1:1000 births in the United States, but this can vary depending on ethnicity and other genetic factors. There are a number of important issues to consider in taking care of children born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate.
C left lip surgery usually takes place when your child is around 3 months old. Dr. Hall strives to deliver the best cleft palate surgery Knoxville has to offer, so shortly after birth, he will examine your child and determine whether orthodontic treatment (called NAM or Nasal-Alveolar-Molding) will be beneficial to help narrow the cleft and improve the functional and cosmetic outcome. If so, he will refer you to a pediatric dentist to begin treatment.
Cleft palate surgery typically occurs when your child is 9 months to a year old. This allows the small muscles of the palate to grow and develop, making it easier to restore the normal anatomy of the palate. Cleft palate surgery is done before your child begins to speak in order to allow him to learn the normal ways to produce sounds, which can prevent the development of abnormal speech patterns as he/she gets older.
If you have any questions about cleft lip surgery or cleft palate surgery, or would like to meet with Knoxville plastic surgeon, Dr. Hall to discuss options for your child, call (865) 973-9500 or use our contact form and request an appointment. For out of town patients, feel free to request an online consult via Skype.