Diagnosing cleft lip and cleft palate
A cleft can sometimes be diagnosed on a prenatal ultrasound. A physical exam upon birth of the nose, lip and mouth confirms the presence of a cleft lip or palate.
Treating cleft lip and cleft palate
The treatment of an infant with cleft lip and/or palate begins at birth with accurate diagnosis, identification of the child's needs and multidisciplinary plan of treatment. All children with cleft lip and palate should be closely followed by an expert craniofacial team, such as the Ian Jackson Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Team at Beaumont.
The cleft lip is usually surgically repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children may require a two-stage lip repair or molding device if the cleft is wide.
The cleft palate is surgically repaired between the ages of 9 to 12 months and ear tubes are often placed at the time of the cleft palate surgery if needed.
The child's speech, hearing and dental development will be closely evaluated on a regular basis and secondary surgeries such as pharyngeal flap to correct airflow during speech, palate bone grafting, nasal reconstruction and upper jaw surgery may be recommended.
The Ian Jackson Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Team at Beaumont consists of multiple specialists including plastic/craniofacial surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, ENTs, ophthalmologists, pediatric dentists, prosthodontists, psychologists, speech therapists, audiologists, geneticists, occupational therapists, dieticians, social workers and nurses. We will work closely with you and your child to:
- properly diagnose and evaluate the condition
- conduct necessary tests (endoscopic, hearing tests, radiologic imaging, etc.)
- make treatment recommendations
- coordinate all diagnostics and care
- perform surgery, if necessary
- provide ongoing medical care
- maintain long-term clinical outcome records
Our team is one of only a few in Michigan to receive approval from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and Cleft Palate Foundation as both a Cleft Palate Team and Craniofacial Team.