Facial birth deformities, such as a cleft lip and palate, occur when the upper lip and roof of the mouth fail to fully develop during the early weeks of pregnancy. The incomplete formation of the upper lip (cleft lip) or roof of the mouth (cleft palate) can occur individually, or both defects may occur together. Moreover, these deformities can affect one or both sides of the mouth. Therefore, plastic surgery is one of the best treatment options to repair the cleft lip and/or cleft palate to make the patient look as normal as possible.
Mumbai’s leading plastic and hand reconstruction surgeon Dr Leena Jain says, ‘I have performed plastic surgeries to rectify the cleft lip and palate so as to restore shape and appearance of lips,, thereby ensuring that the patient can eats and talk well.
She adds, ‘Cleft lip and palate deformities are detected at birth, and their early resolution is advisable. Doctors recommend cleft lip repair when the child is three to six months old, while the preferred age to perform the cleft palate surgery is when the child is nine to eighteen months old. The child will experience difficulties in talking, improper biting of food and overall decreased quality of life as the child grows older
Generally, when there is a cleft palate, the baby will not be able to feed on breast milk properly. The parents will have to depend on specialized bottles or feeding tubes to help the baby to intake the required amount of food for growth. Hence, early repair of the lip and/or the palate cleft is essential.
Plastic surgery to repair cleft of the lip is known as cheiloplasty. The surgeon will focus on the closure of the cleft and give a normal look and feel of the upper lip.. If required, the surgeon will also try restoring the nasal symmetry and shape of the nostril along with straightening the columella.
During the palate repair surgery, the surgeon focuses on creating the floor of the nasal cavity, which is necessary for normal speech, normal growth of the upper jaw and teeth and repairing any defect in the gumline essential for tooth eruption. The surgery also works on the soft palate to ensure a proper connectivity with the auditory canal and Eustachian tube for normal hearing.
Dr Leena Jain concludes by reiterating early treatment of a child born with a cleft palate as it causes multiple problems such as improper feeding, ear infections, impaired hearing and speech development, and affects the overall growth and development of the child.
Mumbai-based Dr Leena Jain is a Hand, Reconstructive Microsurgeon and Plastic Surgeon, having experience of 7+ years. She has extensive experience in Reconstructive Microsurgery of tumors, trauma, burns and congenital conditions, hand surgeries, breast reconstruction surgeries, facial nerve paralysis, gender reassignment surgeries, and so on.
She has acquired two international fellowships in Microsurgery viz. Fellowship in Microsurgery and Perforator flaps from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea and AO Fellowship- Microsurgery and Faciomaxillary Trauma: Ludwigs’ Maximillians University, Munich, Germany in Hand and Microsurgery.
Dr Leena Jain is available for consultation at:
Plastikos Clinic, A Wing, 403, Lancelot Building, S. V. Road, Borivali West -400090
Lilavati Hospital & Research Centre, A- 791, Krishna Chandra Marg, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West. Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
Phone no: +91-9820991853
Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org