Cleft Lip SurgeryBy our Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
Cleft lip and cleft palate, known medically as cheiloschisis and palatoschisis, are birth defects that can seriously impact a child’s health and quality of life. The defects may occur separately or together and require surgery to fix them.
Because the defect is on the face, it’s extremely important to choose a skilled and talented plastic surgeon to fix the problem. Dr. Chance Kaplan of Fort Lauderdale is an excellent choice for cleft lip and palate repair.
Not only is Dr. Kaplan highly talented when it comes to performing facial plastic surgeries in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Kaplan also shares his skills across the globe and contributes his talents to organizations like Operation Smile and World Journey of Hope. These charities perform life-changing surgeries, like cleft lip and palate repair, around the world. This willingness to serve not only speaks to Dr. Kaplan’s generosity and kind nature but also to his extensive experience in the field of cleft lip repair.
A cleft lip is more than just a cosmetic concern, and it requires more than just your average surgeon. Many factors must be taken into consideration when repairing a cleft lip. A cleft lip and palate must be repaired in such a way that full functionality is restored so your child’s mouth will grow and develop normally following the surgery to allow for proper eating and breathing, which can be severely affected by a cleft lip or palate.
Preparing for Cleft Lip Surgery
Ideally, cleft lip repair will occur after your child is 10 weeks old and weighs at least 10 pounds. Cleft palate repair usually takes place between the ages of 9 and 18 months. Because cleft lip and cleft palate often occur in conjunction with other birth defects, it may be necessary to delay surgery to correct other defects first.
When you call our Fort Lauderdale office, you will be scheduled for a consultation with Dr. Kaplan to discuss your child’s condition and decide on the best course of action. Dr. Kaplan will need to see your child to determine the severity of the condition and will also request records from your other healthcare providers to find out more about your child’s overall health. This will help him determine the best timing for the surgery.
Some testing may be required prior to surgery. In some cases, your child may be given a special device to wear in the mouth. This device will help your child feed until the surgery is performed.
The Cleft Lip Surgery Procedure
Your child’s cleft lip surgery may take place at our Fort Lauderdale office or at one of Fort Lauderdale’s excellent hospitals.
Once your child is under anesthesia, Dr. Kaplan will begin the surgery by making incisions along each side of the cleft. These incisions will create flaps that will then be skillfully stretched across the cleft and attached to close the gap.
Dr. Kaplan is very conscious of the fact that your child’s appearance is important and will be very careful to perform the repair in such a way that the scar will blend in with the natural contours between the nose and mouth.
Following Cleft Lip Surgery
Once your child’s cleft lip surgery is complete, you will continue to follow up with Dr. Kaplan at our Fort Lauderdale office or with your regular pediatrician to monitor your child’s growth and development. Depending on the severity of the cleft lip and whether or not the palate was involved, your child may need follow-up surgery as he or she gets older.
Careful monitoring will help your child grow up with full oral functionality, and once he or she is an adult, it is unlikely that anyone will ever know that he or she was born with a cleft lip.
Contact our Fort Lauderdale office for a consultation.