Treating cleft lip and palate

Treating cleft lip and palate

Surgical schedule

The following outline is a sample surgical itinerary for cleft lip repair and cleft palate repair.

For cleft lip only:

  • Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is considered.
  • Cleft lip repair (cheiloplasty) takes place at 3 to 5 months old

For cleft palate only:

  • Cleft palate repair (palatoplasty) is done between 9 and 12 months old
  • Speech correction surgery, if needed, takes place between 3 and 5 years of age

For cleft lip and cleft palate patients:

Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is considered

  • Surgical repair for cleft lip takes place at 3 to 5 months old
  • Repair of cleft palate is done between 9 and 12 months old
  • If needed, speech correction surgery (pharyngoplasty/sphincteroplasty) takes place between 3 and 5 years of age
  • Alveolar bone grafting occurs between 7 and 9 years old
  • Jaw surgery to correct misalignment of the jaws, if needed, is offered between 16 and 19 years old
  • Nose surgery (rhinoplasty) if needed, occurs between 16 and 19 years old

Non-surgical services

  • Ears are checked during surgery, and ear tubes are placed if needed, at age 8 to 12 months
  • Speech assessments and therapy, if needed begin at age 1
  • Dental checkups begin at age 2
  • Orthodontic evaluations begin between 4 and 9 years old
  • Braces for teeth may be applied around age 12 and up, if needed