Cleft Lip/Palate in Frisco, TX
Each year, one in 700 babies born suffer from cleft lip or cleft palate. These facial malformations are the fourth most common birth defect. Untreated, they cause problems with speech and eating and put the infant at an increased risk of suffering ear infections and hearing loss. While this can cause a great deal of distress to Frisco, TX parents, they can find strength and support at the International Craniofacial Institute in Dallas.
Understanding Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
The severity of cleft disorders varies. Some patients experience a superficial indentation of the lip while others suffer a complete separation of the lip, nasal base, and hard/soft palate. Guidelines for determining how severe each case is are named after the location of the cleft. A unilateral cleft lip/palate is located on one side. A bilateral cleft lip/palate happens when the cleft is on both sides. Cleft palates happen when the cleft does not affect the lip or nasal base.
When dealing with cleft lip/palate it’s important to have people who understand the situation on your side. At the International Craniofacial Institute (ICI) Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment Center, we understand we are not treating a deformity; we are treating a correctible condition. Babies born with a cleft lip/palate are not abnormal; they simply suffer from a medical condition. The good news is that cleft lip/palate can be corrected, and the child can grow to enjoy a normal life.
Correction of cleft lip/palate is not done for aesthetic reasons. It is medically necessary to ensure proper growth. Proper function of the oral-facial region is important to facilitate actions, such as suckling, breathing, and swallowing. As a child grows, this area is essential to speech, balance and dental development. Because this region is interconnected, the correct functioning of the mouth, nose and ears are of utmost importance.
Challenges for Children with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Breathing and eating both utilize the same facial area. An intact palate keeps food out of the nose. The mouth is also connected to the balance and drainage parts of the ears, so an intact palate helps to ensure the inner ear muscles are correctly connected to the inner ear structure. Having these areas properly connected allows the Eustachian tube in the ear to sit at the correct angle to provide proper airflow and drainage. For speech, an intact palate allows the mouth and tongue to provide proper breathing control and allows movements needed to create sounds. Challenges arise in babies who suffer from incomplete closure of the lip or with deformities to the dental ridge and/or the hard and soft palates.
Treatment at International Craniofacial Institute
Our center treats and corrects all degrees of cleft lip/palate. We perform over 500 cleft lip/palate correction procedures each year. Our staff has a plethora of specialization in each and every area relating to a cleft lip or palate. We work not only together, but also with the patient’s family throughout the process to ensure a positive outcome.
When dealing with a family member suffering from a genetic syndrome, cleft lip/palate or other craniofacial complication, don’t do it alone. Contact the International Craniofacial Institute and let our qualified staff help you determine the solution that will work for you and your loved one.