What are the types of Cleft Lip?
Cleft Lip can be 1) Unilateral Cleft Lip – On one side of the nose or 2) Bilateral Cleft Lip – On both the sides of the nose.
Cleft Lip can either be 1) Complete Cleft Lip – When the split extends right up and into the nose or 2) Incomplete Cleft Lip – When the split in the upper lip does not extend up to the nose.
What are the problems associated with Cleft Lip and Palate ?
- Feeding Problems : Cannot suck effectively Milk gets into the nasal cavity and may result in choking or aspiration.
- Teething Problems : Missing teeth, Increased number of cavities and Malocclusion of teeth – When teeth are bunched together or on top of each other.
- Speech Problems : Nasal voice, May develop nodules on the vocal cord due to vocal abuse, Delayed speech and language development and Difficulty with articulation and proper pronunciation of words.
- Ear Infections : Most children with Cleft Lip are prone to middle ear infection.
- Hearing Loss : May be associated with repeated ear infection
- Psychological Problems : To pay the price for looking and sounding different.
- Social Problems: Suffer isolation and alienation
What will my child’s ‘Health Professionals Team’ comprise of?
It is important that several health professionals with different expertise are involved to assess and monitor your child’s progress as he/she grows up. The team of Health Professional for surgical correction and rehabilitation of a child with Cleft Lip will include:
- Pediatrician – May be the first one to examine and diagnose the problem of Cleft Lip and make appropriate referrals
- Dietitian – Provides guidelines on proper feeding during infancy, weight gain and preparation for Cleft Lip surgery
- Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon – To perform surgical repair of Cleft Lip.
- Speech Pathologist – To work on the speech and language development of your child
- Audiologist – To monitor hearing which may be impaired due to middle ear infection
- Ear, Nose and Throat (Otorhinolaryngologist) specialist – Treats middle ear infections
- Oral Surgeon – Performs jaw alignment and tooth extractions
- Dentist and Orthodontist – Repositioning of teeth and designing of prosthetic devices like braces and bridges.
- Genetic Counselor – Counsels and provides information on genetic background of Cleft Lip.