Bask in Your Child’s Smile
Cleft lip is one of the most common birth defects affecting kids in North America. Fortunately, it’s also easily treated through plastic surgery. Illinois Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery physicians are known in Illinois for their expertise with cleft lip surgery. In fact, people come to us from all over state.
What is Cleft Lip
Cleft lip is a deformity of the upper lip that occurs during the early weeks of fetal development. When a child is born, there is a separation in the upper lip due to the malformation of the left and right sides of the lip and roof of the mouth. It can range in severity from a slight notch to a complete separation. Since the lip and palate develop separately, it is also possible for the child to suffer from a cleft palate as well.
How Cleft Lip is Treated
It is best to have a cleft lip treated early as it is more than just a cosmetic procedure. A team of specialists will evaluate your child and determine the course of surgical treatment needed to improve your child’s speech, his or her ability to eat, drink and breathe and to restore a more normal appearance. Most cleft lip repairs are done when a child has reached at least 10 weeks of age, is 10 pounds and has a blood count of at least 10. During surgery, your physician will help make your child a more normal appearance by:
- Closing the cleft resulting in a scar located in the normal structures of the upper lip
- Forming a cupid’s bow (the curve at the center of the upper lip)
- Making any adjustments to the space between the upper lip and nose
Recovery from Cleft Lip Surgery
The results from your child’s initial cleft lip repair will drastically improve his or her quality of life, the ability to breathe, eat and speak. It may be necessary, however, as your child gets older for secondary procedures to be performed whether for function or to further refine their appearance. Cleft lip scars will always be visible even though they are located in the normal contours of the face.
Schedule Your Consultation
Schedule your consultation by calling 309.495.0250, or contact us today if you have any questions about our reconstructive services for your child.