Introduction to Cleft Lip

Cleft lip with or without cleft palate occurs in about 1 out of 700 live births. The condition may affect either the right side, the left side, or both sides. The cleft may either be complete (the full vertical height of the lip) or incomplete. In most cases of cleft lip, there is an associated cleft of the palate. The cleft may cause difficulties with feeding, speech, breathing, dentition, and growth.

Infant cleft lip

Why Choose Dr. Sundine

Dr. Sundine is a member of the Cleft/Craniofacial Team at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and works with the other members of the team to ensure the optimal outcome for patients with cleft lip. Dr. Sundine is considered an expert in this field and has both a national and international prescience because of his expertise and skill in this and other facial aesthetic procedures.

Patient Review

Dr. Sundine is great! I was very hesitant to undergo another procedure as I was born with a cleft lip and had already gone through 3 surgeries. My nose was still very asymmetrical, and I was beginning to think there was nothing else that could be done. I’m glad I stumbled upon Dr. Sundine’s site in a quick google search. I got in touch with his office very quickly and was offered a consultation at no charge. The rest is history. He was very accommodating and very responsive. He improved the appearance of my nose significantly and made sure everything went smoothly leading up to the surgery and the healing process thereafter. I’m very glad with Dr. Sundine’s results! – Hugo B.

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Cleft Lip Repair Procedure

The repair of the lip is typically performed approximately 3 months following the child’s birth. The repair of the lip is also associated with an aggressive repair of the cleft nasal deformity. Dr. Sundine routinely uses nasal splints postoperatively to reduce scar contracture that may affect the appearance of the nose. One week postoperatively the patient is returned to the operating room for a brief suture removal under anesthesia.

More About Cleft Lip Repair

Dr. Sundine is also considered an expert for cleft lip repair revisions, for children, teenagers, and adults. People come from out of the state, as well as out of the country, for their specific expertise in this procedure. Some of the reasons for the need for revision of cleft lip repairs include: under rotation of the cleft repair, malalignment of the lip, the fullness of the lip, or a whistling deformity (notch in the free border of the lip). Oftentimes young teenagers and adults seek out Dr. Sundine to repair these deformities and to help them gain the confidence they need to move forward with their career goals, school goals, and in general, feel better about themselves. These repairs are typically performed on an outpatient basis. The exact treatment necessary is dependent on the deformity seen.

You may feed your child normally-ie. using a cross-cut nipple, Haberman feeder, pigeon nipple, etc.You will be given a prescription for Tylenol® with codeine elixir for pain. You may use this medication every six hours as needed for pain. You may also use plain children’s Tylenol® liquid for pain.

Apply bacitracin ointment to the lip suture lines four times daily.

Keep the “No-No’s” in place at all times for three (3) weeks following the operation. The “No- No’s” may be removed for bathing.

Keep the nostril retainers in place at all times for six (6) months following the operation. The purpose of the nostril retainers is to try to keep the cleft side nostril open during the early wound healing period.

The nostril retainer may become occluded with nasal crusts. The nostril retainer may be removed and cleaned using a Q-tip and some tap water. Replace the nostril retainer into the nose and hold in place with paper tape or 1⁄2” Steri-strips with holes punched out for the nostrils (use a standard paper hole punch).

At one week postoperatively from the lip repair your child will return to the operating room for removal of the lip sutures under anesthesia. REMEMBER TO NOT FEED THE CHILD FOR 8 HOURS PRIOR TO THE SUTURE REMOVAL!!!

Continue the bacitracin ointment to the suture line four (4) times daily for another week.

At two weeks postoperatively from the initial lip repair, you will return to the office for a postoperative follow-up visit. You will be instructed on how to perform the massage of the lip scars at that time.

*Call our office if you have any questions, if any problems should arise, or if you have been having any signs or symptoms of infection (redness, fever, drainage).

Professional Memberships:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American College of Surgeons-Fellow
American Academy of Pediatrics-Fellow
International Society of Craniofacial Surgeons
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Cleft Palate- Craniofacial Association
American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons
California Society of Plastic Surgeons
Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Association of Plastic Surgery

Patient Reviews & Testimonials

  • "Extremely Qualified"

    I was referred to Dr Sundine by the Pelican Hill Resort while I was a guest there and I suffered serious facial injuries from a mountain biking incident. Dr Sundine and his staff were concerned and caring and extremely qualified. the work performed by Dr Sundine on my face is simpl astounding. I was so impressed with the quality of care and results I received that I have had additional voluntary facila work performed by Dr Sundine. My wife and some friends have also become patients of Dr Sundine's with the same results. It is a difficult decision to entrust someone to repair and maintain one's appearance. I trust Dr Sundine.
    - MJ

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  • "Thanks, Dr. Sundine!"

    After much research and multiple visits to other surgeons, I knew right away that Dr. Sundine was the perfect choice for me. He is gentle and kind and genuinely listens to you. I felt completely confident in his ability from the first visit to the last. Even the day of the procedure, he spent ample time talking to me, taking measurements, and making marks on my body so as to get the perfect results. I have been singing his praises to all of my friends and will recommend him to anyone searching for a plastic surgeon. Thanks, Dr. Sundine!

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  • "Excellent Plastic Surgeon!"

    Dr. Sundine is an excellent plastic surgeon! I have been using his services for almost 5 years. The office setting is state of the art and his office manager Toni makes sure that everything runs efficiently. They really listen to your needs before and after surgery to make certain that you walk out fully satisfied. If you want to look years younger and fully refreshed I highly recommend that you use his services. This is not your typical Newport Beach plastic surgeon’s office. Patients walk out looking naturally gorgeous, not overdone like some of the women in Orange County! The office offers a full range of injectables, peels, and lasers in addition to major cosmetic surgery procedures. Whether you need a little tweak or surgery this is the physician that you should see!
    - Susan

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  • "You are the Best Surgeon!"

    Dr. Sundine is the best plastic surgeon. Dr. Sundine’s excellent skills and knowledge has made my surgery turn out so well. But more importantly, it made me feel better about myself. Again, thank you Dr. Sundine for all you have done for me. You are the best surgeon!
    - Thy D.

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