Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery

Cleft palate and cleft lip affect about 7,000 newborn babies in the United States each year. Surgery can correct the functional and cosmetic defects of the disorder and improve your child's ability to speak and smile with confidence. What else makes this procedure life-changing?

cleft lip

Early Surgery Can Have



Establish a Healthy Diet for Your Child

Correcting a cleft lip or palate can improve your child's ability to eat and receive the proper nutrients.


Positive Long-Term Outcomes

The scars remaining after surgery are usually discreet, suit the natural contours of the face, and fade over time.


Prevent Developmental Issues

Addressing a cleft lip or palate early and receiving the support of a dentist can usually prevent future speech problems and issues with tooth development.

Do I need to worry about other developmental issues?

cleft lip

Fortunately, Cleft Lip and Palate


cleft lip

According to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital

The procedure is relatively standard. The results are life-changing.

cleft lip

The Cleft Lip


number one

Your surgeon will place your child under general anesthesia to ease him or her into a deep sleep.

Number two

The surgeon will carefully trim excess tissue and suture it back together during the one to two hour surgery.

Number three

Most patients receive dissolvable stitches and are left with a small visible scar, which should fade over time.

Number four

Your child will stay in the hospital for up to a week after surgery and should reach full recovery within 4 weeks.

Number five

If your child has a cleft palate, they may need more than one surgery to fully resolve the defect.

The number of surgeries needed will depend on how serious the defect was. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon can work with plastic surgeons and orthodontists to ensure healthy teeth development and highly cosmetic results.

But Is the Surgery


No surgery is without risks. However, a study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found a very low complication rate of about 3.1 percent in patients who received cleft lip and nasal repair within approximately one month of birth.

Here’s an inside look at what to expect during surgery

cleft lip

A Specialist Focuses on


An oral and maxillofacial surgeon plays an important role in this treatment. By helping to restore the jaw and face to their normal function and appearance, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can help your child on their journey to improved speech, hearing, and confidence.

Do not wait to speak to a surgeon. Early intervention can help your child develop normal speech habits, healthy nutrition, and begin to build a strong sense of self-confidence for lifetime happiness. Contact a doctor today to find out more about cleft lip and palate surgery.