Cleft repair surgery involves joining the tissues that did not join together while your baby was in the womb. The aim is for the best possible functional (how it works) and aesthetic (how it looks) outcome as your child gets older.
- Lip repair involves reconstructing the shape of the lip and the nose and joining the tissues that were not joined before birth. There are a number of different techniques which depend on the shape of your baby’s cleft and the surgeon’s preference. If the palate is involved, part of it may be repaired at the same time.
- The palate (especially the soft palate) is very important for not just eating and swallowing, but also for speech, so a palate repair surgery aims to make sure the palate works as well as possible. It is repaired in layers, with the focus on reconstructing the muscle of the soft palate.
Dental impressions may be taken before or during the operation so the team has an accurate record of your baby’s cleft to compare with the future development of their mouth.