What is the secret behind normal speech after cleft palate repair?
This is a question many of my educated patients keep asking… In this medical blog, I would want to make this aspect clear to the non-medical person.
Cleft palate is a congenital or birth defect that roughly affects 1 in 800 individuals. One of the requisites for handling children with such craniofacial defects in the presence of a competent craniofacial team.
As a parent or a patient seeking treatment for cleft palate – look for the following :
- Is there a craniofacial team available at the hospital? This is very essential and has been shown repeatedly that a good team gives good results for the patients… however surgeon standalone centers are not the best way to handle such craniofacial issues.
- Is the hospital recognized by the Government, Noteworthy university or Large credible NGO’s? Do check if the hospital where the surgeon provides the surgery is recognized to perform such procedures. This would give you an idea about the credibility of the surgeon and the institution.
- Surgeons Capability – This even though is the most important factor, is talked about the least. You could assess a surgeons capability by the quality and quantity of work already done, ie experience. His/ Her training background and also if he/she is a trainer will also give some hints. A skillful dedicated surgeon is like a gifted and talented painter and therefore this factor would be the most important point you would want to look into.
- The timing of the surgery: It also has been quite conclusively proven that if the cleft palate repair should be done around 9 months to 10 months of age. this is right before the child starts to babble.
- The technique used in surgery:
Some techniques are better in providing better speech and fewer issues for the kids with cleft palate. For example, radical muscle repair is a good technique.