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"How effective is cleft lip surgery?"


My son has a cleft lip and we're planning to get him surgery. Will it be effective? I don't want to waste our money if he won't look like a happy boy.


First of all I am sorry to hear that your son was born with a cleft lip. This is definitely a question that you should discuss with your surgeon as part of your pre-operative discussion. With that being said, I am happy to give you some basic information (which you may already been well aware of).

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There are three main prominences that must fuse properly during gestational development to properly form the lip (Frontonasal, maxillary, and mandibular prominences). If there is disruption in the fusion of any of these prominences, it can result in a fissure or "cleft". Cleft lip, or cheloschisis, is one of these failures of fusion. Cleft lip can be incomplete (only involving the lip itself), or complete (where the cleft extends into the nare). It can also be unilateral or bilateral. One can imagine that the degree of cleft would correlate with the complexity of the surgery which tends to be the case. Speaking in very general terms, the surgeries to correct cleft are effective, however the specifics of the extent of the cleft cannot be determined through this forum, so again I defer you to discuss this with your surgeon. I hope that this has been helpful, and I wish you the best of luck.

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