Cleft lip and palate treatmentKeywords:
The goal in the treatment we provide for cleft lip/palate is to correct the patient’s appearance and to achieve speech, bite and ear functions as normal as possible.
The groundwork in treating cleft lip/palate is laid by the corrective surgery that we undertake during the first year of the child’s life. By the child’s first birthday, his/her appearance will have been corrected as far as possible while attaining normal function of the lip, nose and palate.
If the infant only has a cleft lip or a cleft palate, probably no other corrective surgery will be indicated. In cases of a cleft lip and alveolus or a cleft lip and palate, on the other hand, further surgery will be needed later. In addition to surgical treatment, the child may require ear treatment, speech therapy, orthodontic treatment and dental prosthetics.
We advise and assist families, children and adolescents with problems related to cleft lip/palate. We invite patients back for regular checkups every two years or so, at which time further treatment plans are made. Treatment and monitoring continue until the child’s growth ends, and beyond that if necessary.
When a child is born with a cleft lip/palate, the maternity hospital sends us a referral. We will contact you by phone and agree on a first visit. You yourself or the staff of the maternity hospital may also contact our Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center to agree on a first visit.
We begin providing advice and assistance for cleft lip/palate in the very first contact while agreeing on a first visit.
For the first visit, you will be invited to Ward Avaruus in the New Children’s Hospital when the infant is 3–4 weeks old. You will meet a plastic surgeon, an ear specialist and a nurse. We will give you information about cleft lip/palate, explain the treatment and give practical instructions for future treatment periods. We also introduce you to the environment where the child will be treated. You will receive ‘your child’s folder’, an information package on the treatment given for the type of cleft condition which your child has. We recommend you allow two hours for the first visit.
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