In cleft lip and palate patients few treatments are based on aesthetics and some are based on functional improvement solely. Treatment of cleft palate is also one of them. Treatment of cleft palate is very important for functional rehabilitation for eg speech, swallowing etc.
A similar patient named Alex 10 months old reported to our Richardson dental cleft and craniofacial hospital with a complaint of cleft palate. A cleft palate in layman’s term is a slit in the palate formed due to various reasons like maternal hormonal disorders, use of psychiatric medications, vitamin and folic acid deficiency, hypoxia and cigarette smoking, maternal obesity and overweight, hereditary factors such as race, ethnicity and genetics and geographical situation.
Protocol at Richardsons Dental and Craniofacial Hospital:
Cleft lip surgery: 5 kgs weight
Cleft palate surgery: 10 months age
First Speech Assessment : 3 years
Cleft alveolus or Bone grafting: 8 – 9 years
Orthodontics: 12 – 13 years
Definitive Cleft Rhinoplasty: 15 years or later when required
Anterior Maxillary Distraction: 11 years or later when required
Orthognathic or jaw surgery: 16 years or later when required
Palatoplasty was done for a cleft patient at Richardson dental and craniofacial Hospital Nagercoil
A team of doctors headed by Dr Sunil Richardson examined the patient and it was found to be a wide bilateral cleft palate. The patient’s parents have explained the need for treating the cleft palate at the age of ten months, to achieve the goal of normal or near to normal speech development for the child. The necessary routine blood investigations were done and the child was declared fit by the pediatric anesthesiologist for the surgery. The surgical procedure has performed a technique called ‘two flap palatoplasty’ with much importance to the radical muscle dissection was performed and child’s wide cleft palate was closed successfully. The patient is on regular follow up and there is no postoperative complications till now. The child’s parents are now very happy that their child is now like the normal other children with a normal speech and function.
Correct Precise Surgery at the right time by the experienced surgeon is the only way to make sure that patients with cleft palate speak like any other child.