Understanding Cleft Palate and the Need for Surgery
A cleft palate is a birth condition where there is an opening or split in the roof of the mouth. This occurs when the tissues forming the palate do not join completely during fetal development. A cleft palate can involve just the soft palate at the back of the mouth or can extend into the hard palate. It may occur together with a cleft lip as well. Besides an opening in the palate, a cleft palate can cause difficulties with feeding, speech, hearing, and dental development. Surgery is often required to close the cleft, restore normal palate structure and function, and improve appearance.
Cleft Palate Surgery at Kokilaben Hospital Mumbai
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai is one of the leading facilities in India providing comprehensive treatment for children born with cleft lip and cleft palate. The Department of Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has extensive experience in performing cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgeries. Surgeries are performed by expert pediatric plastic surgeons using the latest techniques and equipment.
For cleft palate surgery, the timing depends on the extent of the cleft. Surgeries to repair a cleft palate are generally performed between 9-18 months of age. At Kokilaben Hospital, palate repair surgeries are done as early as possible once the child is fit and ready for anesthesia. Early repair allows for better speech development. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes 1-2 hours. The cleft in the palate is closed using the child's own tissues. Tiny dissolving stitches are used which do not require removal later.
Some of the main benefits of timely cleft palate surgery include:
- Close the gap in the palate to enable proper speech. Children born with an unrepaired cleft palate can have severely defective speech.
- Improve feeding. A cleft palate can cause problems with sucking and swallowing. Surgery prevents food from going up into the nose.
- Prevent ear infections and hearing loss. Liquid can pass from the mouth into the nasal cavity and lead to fluid buildup and ear infections.
- Improve dental development. Teeth may grow out of position around the cleft area. Surgery helps restore proper dental arch form.
- Boost facial growth. Closing the cleft can help the face grow properly and symmetrically.
- Better self-esteem. Surgery provides both functional benefits and aesthetic improvements.
The team at Kokilaben Hospital provides comprehensive post-surgical care including speech therapy, orthodontics, and other treatments to ensure optimal outcomes. Regular follow up is essential long-term after cleft palate surgery.