How Many Surgeries Does It Take to Fix a Cleft Lip or Palate?

May 17th, 2024

Cleft lips and cleft palates are both exceedingly common congenital anomalies. When left untreated, they can result in several ongoing problems, including difficulties with breastfeeding and speech development. Thankfully, surgical interventions can address these concerns, allowing little ones to lead normal and healthy lives.

How Many Surgeries Does It Take?

If your child has a cleft lip or cleft palate, you may wonder if a single surgery can resolve the issue or if multiple procedures will be necessary.

Your surgeon may determine the cleft anomaly may require multiple surgical procedures. Cleft palates are typically corrected in one surgery. While your surgeon can often make corrections in a single surgery, more severe or complex palate anomalies may require additional treatment. 

Your surgeon can provide more information at the initial consultation, offering you an informed estimate of whether your child’s condition may require multiple surgeries. Whenever possible, your surgeon will seek full restoration in a single procedure, which minimizes risk and helps keep surgical costs low.

Will My Child Require Follow-Up Appointments?

Today’s surgeons almost always use sutures that dissolve on their own, meaning you should not have to see the surgeon again to have stitching removed. However, follow-up appointments with the surgeon or your regular pediatrician can be important for ensuring the surgery’s success and verifying that your child’s mouth is healing appropriately.

You should contact your doctor to schedule a follow-up should you notice any abnormal symptoms, including persistent fevers, pus, or other signs of infection.

Learn More About Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Surgeries

Your child can enjoy normal feeding patterns, speech development, and more through surgical intervention. Learn more about your options for cleft lip or cleft palate surgery from Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery.