Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can I eat normal foods after my craniofacial follow up?"
I'm 27 and will have craniofacial surgery performed on my cleft lip. How soon after my follow up can I eat normal foods? How long will it be painful for?
Cleft lip repair is a complicated procedure that often has excellent results for many different reasons. As surgical experience and expertise grows, the outcomes are increasingly improved. Unfortunately for your current question, however, is the fact that each cleft is a unique entity that requires personal analysis. In other words, there is no "one size fits all" answer about anything when it comes to do with clefts. In general, the 2 week mark is one that is referred to and often used as a guide, provided that the surgery was uneventful (not complicated by anything) and your healing is going well. The pain should improve daily, and if it does not you will need to bring this up with your surgeon. Again, it is mandatory that you discuss this with your surgeon, as these repairs are often multi-staged, meaning that it might take more than one surgery to repair your cleft. For that reason, your surgeon will usually need to speak with you and analyze your wound before he or she is able to advise you specifically about timing of eating especially. Repair of clefts is one of the most rewarding surgeries a physician can perform, and with appropriate postoperative care you will optimize your chances of the ideal outcome.
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