Cleft Palate Repair
Conveniently located to serve Newport Beach & all areas of Orange County
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.
Many of the patients will require speech therapy to improve the quality of their speech. Occasionally the patients will require additional operations on the back of their throat around school age to improve the quality of their speech and to reduce hypernasality (too much air going out the nose with speech).
The cleft of the alveolus is generally repaired around 8 years of age, prior to the eruption of the permanent canine tooth. Many of the patients will require expansion of the palate to ensure the correct form of the dental arch by the orthodontist prior to performing the bone graft surgery.
Dr. Michael Sundine is a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Newport Beach. Throughout his career, he has helped many patients suffering from abnormalities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. If you’d like to book a consultation with Dr. Sundine please contact us today!
Cleft Palate Repair After Care Instructions
You may feed your child normally-ie. using a cross-cut nipple, Haberman feeder, pigeon nipple, etc. You may need to feed the child initially using a syringe. The child may eat breast milk, formula, or Stage 1 baby food only for six weeks.
You may want to give the child a bottle or sippy cup of water to cleanse the palate. This will prevent the child from having bad breath.
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.
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.
Plan for a postoperative visit at 2 weeks postoperative.
*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).