Cleft Lip/Palate in Highland Park, TX
Many parents in Highland Park, TX are not aware of the fact that one out of every 700 babies is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. When parents receive the news, it can be difficult for some to understand immediately how these conditions might affect their children in the long run.
Understanding Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
The term “cleft” describes an indentation or opening. In medicine, a cleft can occur in different areas of the lip, hard/soft palate and/or nasal base. A child can have a right or left unilateral cleft, bilateral clefts, a palate-only cleft or a combination of cleft features. Sometimes the cleft is almost unnoticeable, and it has no impact on a child’s health or well-being. Sometimes it is a disruptive opening that requires repair because it interferes with a child’s ability to remain healthy and/or function at the same level as children born without this issue.
Challenges for Children with Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate
From infancy to adulthood, humans use their oral-facial structures for a wide range of essential tasks that require the nose, mouth and ears to function correctly. Any damage to these areas can negatively impact breathing, suckling, chewing, swallowing, speaking, dental development, sleeping, crying and many other tasks.
For example, a cleft palate can allow food particles to enter the nasal cavity where they can obstruct breathing or cause an infection. A functional and fully-formed palate prevents this type of problem. Speech is more difficult with a cleft palate because the mouth and tongue can’t form words or control breathing while forming words in a normal fashion. A cleft lip and/or cleft palate can also prevent a child from completely closing the lips. Worse yet, a cleft palate can prevent the inner ear from functioning correctly if important ear muscles are not attached in the correct way to allow Eustachian tubes to equalize air pressure and provide drainage.
Treatment at International Craniofacial Institute
If your child or another loved one has been born with this condition or another type of craniofacial complication or related genetic syndrome, look no further than the International Craniofacial Institute Cleft Lip & Palate Treatment Center for assistance. Our staff members have a wide range of specialized knowledge and hands-on experience in treating cleft lips, palates, and other craniofacial problem areas. Every year, our surgical and treatment team repairs approximately 500 mild-to-complex cleft lip, cleft palate and related craniofacial conditions.
The type of repair and the degree of treatment for unilateral and bilateral cleft features and other craniofacial disorders vary by the size and type of cleft and the age and health of the patient. Our ultimate goal at the International Craniofacial Institute Cleft Lip & Palate Treatment Center is to help our patients thrive as children and adults. Contact our experienced team today for more information about cleft conditions or to schedule an appointment.