Does your child have a cleft lip or palate? If so it is imperative that arrange with a doctor to have cleft palate repair surgery as soon as possible. After the first 6 months is the general time span given, as the child has to be big enough to have the surgery without complications. Waiting too long may have detrimental effects, and not just on a cosmetic level.
In the United States alone, there are about 2,650 babies born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip and may or may not have a cleft palate. Thankfully there is the ability to repair these issues, and many parents move fast in order to hair the surgeries to do so. Which is a good thing, as the earlier it is done, the better the results.
It is recommended that parents have the surgery to repair a cleft lip or a cleft palate as soon as possible, preferably within the first 18 months of the child’s life. Most seem to get the surgery done in under 12 months, which is perfect. It is known that cleft palates can lead to many complications including feeding difficulties, ear infections and hearing loss, and a delay in speech and language development.
Thankfully a cleft palate alone does not lead to breathing difficulties or any issues with the child’s throat or vocal cords, it can merely delay or hamper the ability to speak.
While the surgery to repair a cleft palate is complicated, it is safe and has little complications that may occur. A second surgery, however, may be required based on your doctor’s diagnosis. Following the surgery, your child can walk and play calmly but should avoid any rigorous activity or rough play, or mouth based toys, for one to two weeks. Your child should eat strictly soft foods following surgery, and avoid straws or a pacifer to avoid damaging the surgical repair.
Unfortunately, there will be small amounts of pain after the surgery, as expected, and you should make sure to give your child a nonaspirin pain medication. You can speak to your doctor about a prescribed medication to use at home if you think it would be necessary.
Taking care of your children is important, and that means taking action as quickly as possible! Don’t be afraid to consult with a doctor about a cleft lip or palate!