A cleft palate often requires multiple surgeries. The initial surgery is usually performed by the time a baby is three months old.
Repair of a cleft palate often requires multiple surgeries over the course of 18 years. The first surgery to repair the palate usually occurs when the baby is between six and 12 months old. The initial surgery creates a functional palate, reduces the chances that fluid will develop in the middle ears, and aids in the proper development of the teeth and facial bones.
As a member of a team of healthcare specialists, your oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) plays an important role in the carefully orchestrated, multiple-stage correctional program for cleft lip and palate patients. The goal is to help restore the jaw and facial structures, leading to normal function and appearance. Care and treatment must consider function, appearance, nutrition, speech, hearing, and emotional and psychological development.