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.

Infant cleft lip

About Cleft Palate Repair

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!

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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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).

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


    I gave Dr. Sundine the highest possible review in each category because he truly deserved the highest reviews on every level. I am a very well recognized lawyer on the West Coast. My firm has spent millions of dollars on television advertising in which I appear. I could not afford to have a bad face lift or even for people to notice I had a face lift at all. I interviewed many physicians including some of the “celebrity” physicians. Ultimately, I chose Dr. Sundine because he performs highly complex complete facial reconstruction procedures on children. I figured if he was so skilled that he could perform such incredibly difficult procedures on a child, I was confident he could perform a face lift with which I would be happy. The results were so far beyond my expectations that I could hardly believe. I look literally ten years younger. I am incredibly happy with the results and they seem to get better and better as the healing continues. I never had a problem getting a return call or making an appointment. Dr. Sundine is always pleasant and answers all of my questions. I would recommend him to anyone!!!

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  • "I Am Very Satisfied With The Results"

    What I really like about Dr Sundine is his vast experience and training. I also like the fact he did not try to sell me other procedures. He is also very down to earth and easy to talk to. I am very satisfied with the results and I highly recommend him.

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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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