Introduction to Cleft Palate Repair
A cleft palate involves the roof of the mouth and may involve the alveolus (gum), hard palate, and soft palate. The cleft may be unilateral or bilateral. Repair of the cleft is generally performed between 8-10 months of age to prepare the child for the development of speech. During the repair, the existing palate tissue is moved to the middle and the muscle sling of the soft palate is reconstructed. The remaining open areas on the sides of the palate will heal on their own in very short order.