Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Treatment Underlying Cause

Hairlip Treatment

The goals for the treatment of cleft lip and cleft palate are to ensure that a child can eat, speak, hear, and breathe normally, and to improve the appearance of the face. Cleft lip and cleft palate are corrected surgically. Cleft lip surgery is usually performed in an infant between 2 and 3 months of age, and cleft palate surgery is usually performed between 6 and 18 months of age. In some cases, additional surgical procedures may be required between 2 and 18 years of age. Speech therapy is started early, and the child may require special dental and orthodontic care.

Before surgery, treatment focuses on ensuring that the infant is able to eat because breast and bottle-feeding may be difficult. It is important that the infant is able to gain weight during this period.

Treatment for a cleft palate may include:

  • Nutrition and feeding training
  • Surgery for cleft lip
  • Surgery for cleft palate
  • Speech therapy for cleft palate
  • Dental care for cleft palate

Continue to Hairlip Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hairlip References
  1. Carstens MH. Development of the facial midline. J Craniofac Surg. 2002 Jan;13(1):129-87; discussion 188-90. [11887012]
  2. Sadove AM, van Aalst JA, Culp JA. Cleft palate repair: art and issues. Clin Plast Surg. 2004 Apr;31(2):231-41. [15145665]
  3. Weinfeld AB, Hollier LH, Spira M, Stal S. International trends in the treatment of cleft lip and palate. Clin Plast Surg. 2005 Jan;32(1):19-23, vii. [15636761]
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