It Is Suitable For
· Those who need a safe cleft lip and palate treatment for their children in Kuala Lumpur.
· Those with babies who have unilateral or bilateral cleft lip and palate.
· Those who want to improve their babies' ability to eat, speak and hear normally.
· Those who want to correct their babies' facial structures.
· Those who want follow-up surgeries for their kids aged from 2 to late teen years.
What is Cleft Lip and Palate?
A cleft is a split in the upper lip and/or the roof of the mouth (palate). Babies can be born with just a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or even both. The gap is caused by incomplete development of the baby's face in the womb. They mostly occur as isolated birth defects and can be corrected.
A cleft lip may just affect 1 side of the lip or there may be 2 clefts (unilateral or bilateral).
A cleft palate can be an opening at the back of the mouth, or it may be a split that runs all the way from the back to the front of the mouth.
Issues Related to Cleft Lip and Palate
Untreated cleft lip and palate may lead to these issues:
· Difficulty to breastfeed or feed from a normal bottle as they cannot form a good seal with their mouth.
· Dental problems, as the child's teeth may not develop properly and they may be at a higher risk of tooth decay.
· Hearing problems, especially to some babies with a cleft palate, as they are more vulnerable to ear infections and fluid build-up in the ears.
· Speech problems, including unclear or nasal-sounding speech.
Cleft Lip Repair
Cleft lip repair is ideally done when you baby is within 3 to 6 months of age. In the procedure, the surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the cleft and create flaps of tissue. The flaps will then be stitched together, including the lip muscles. This creates and restores a more normal lip appearance, structure and function. Initial nasal repair if needed will usually be done in the same time. This procedure is done with general anesthesia.
Cleft Palate Repair
Cleft Palate repair is ideally done by the age of 12 months, or earlier if possible. During the repair procedure, the surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the cleft and reposition the tissues and muscles to create a fake roof. After that, the repair is then stitched closed. This procedure is done with general anesthesia.
For children with cleft palate, an ear tube surgery may also be done. Ear tubes can be placed to reduce the risk of chronic ear fluid build-up, which can lead to hearing loss. The surgery involves placing a tiny bobbin-shaped tubes in the eardrum to create an opening to prevent fluid build-up.
Advantages and Limitations of Cleft Lip and Palate Repair
· Restores normal function of baby's mouth
· Repairs baby's facial structures
· Safe procedure
· Effective with proven results
· Excellent outlook for children who have had their conditions treated
· Extra attention and care for your child is needed during recovery period as they may be a little uncomfortable
Possible Side Effects
Although getting the surgery will significantly improve you child's appearance, ability to eat, breathe and talk, as well as overall quality of life, it's best to talk to the doctor regarding the risks. As with all surgeries, there are some risks and it's important to understand them. Risks in the treatment can include:
· Poor healing
· Widening or elevation of scars
· Temporary or permanent damage to nerves, blood vessels or other internal structures (rare)
Our affiliated medical center is renowned for its quality and excellent care. Hence, you can rest assured that your child will be treated with utmost responsibility.
· Liquid diet like puree is recommended for several days after the palate surgery.
· Arm restraints may be needed to be worn to help prevent the child from touching or injuring the surgical area while it heals. They can be temporarily removed for relieve, but please supervise your child.
· Your child’s discomfort can be controlled with medication which will be provided by the medical center.
· Depending on the surgical technique used, sutures may need to be removed from the lip following the surgery. Swelling and scarring will fade over time, so it is highly recommended that you put adequate sun protection for your child.
· Please attend follow-up visit(s) as required.
Q1: Will my child need more surgeries?
A1: Depending on your child's condition, follow-up surgeries to improve the mouth, lips and nose structures can be done between the age of 2 and late teen years.
Q2: Will the scarring be obvious?
A2: The surgery may leave your child with a small scar above the lips, but this will fade and become less noticeable as the child gets older.
Q3: Will my child have any more issues as they get older after having this surgery?
A3: The majority of children treated for cleft lip or palate have completely normal lives as they grow up. Most affected children also do not have any other serious medical issues. Please consult with the doctor if you have concerns.
Q4: Will my next baby have the same condition as well?
A4: Many cases of cleft lip and palate can't be prevented, but you can consider steps to lower the risks of having another baby with cleft like genetic counseling, taking enough prenatal vitamins, as well as avoiding tobacco and alcohol.
Q5: Will the recovery be painful?
A5: Your child may feel a little unsettled especially during the first to third week of recovery and require extra attention. Depending on the doctor's consultation, you may give medications for pain relief for a few days.
Q6: Can I stay with my child in the ward?
A6: Yes, our affiliated medical center will ensure that you and your child are comfortable.
[Clinic Name] Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre (KL)
[Location] Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
[Nearest Station / Nearest Tourist Destination] 5 mins driving distance from partner hotels: Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre, MiCasa All Suites Hotel, and shopping centre Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Also, KL Sentral, as well as KLCC, are reachable within 15 mins drive.
[Clinic Opening Time] Monday to Friday (9:00AM - 7:00PM); Saturday (9:00AM - 3:00PM)