In addition to restoring appearance, cleft and palate surgery also helps address a number of related conditions.
Feeding problems caused by a cleft palate making if difficult or impossible for the infant to properly latch on to her mother’s breast or the nipple of a bottle.
Failure to gain weight and poor growth resulting from nutritional deficiency associated with difficulty feeding.
Ear infections related to the cleft blocking drainage through the Eustachian tube.
Once surgery is complete, the cleft lip and palate team can address other conditions related to the deformity. These include teeth that are misaligned or do not grow properly, hearing loss and speech problems. Some children develop psychological and social problems treated separately from surgery; emotional anxiety related to clefts also can affect family members.