Definition - also called Hare Lip, is a Congenital (by birth) anomaly, where in there is a defect or gap in the lips-usually upper, and/or Palate (roof of mouth cavity).
Causes - exactly not known. possibilities are-
1- Familial-can run in families.
2-deficiency of any vital nutrients required for formation of skin / Nervous system.
3- minor injuries.
Presentation- 3 types basically. it can be on one side of lip or both sides and some times extends to nose also.
Type I- Cleft Lip
Type II- Cleft Palate
Type III- Cleft Lip & Palate (combined)
Precautions- Psychological upset to Parents, which can be alleviated by proper counselling and education. Feeding to child can be a problem, as they do not develop suction (negative pressure) to suck the milk from mother's breast / bottle nipple. A bottle with a long nipple or milk with a spoon would be a better choice
Treatment- by Lip Surgery and consists of repairing of the defects.
Aims of operation- it is necessary to correct to restore appearance and function. The surgery is done maily to improve appearance and speecch. it also improves feeding. timing of surgery is usually when the child is between nine months and one yr age.
various types of operations are existent. basically all involve release the tissues from abnormal attachments and reposition them in proper place and repair any associated abnormalities.
Post operative care-
The child will be in hospital for a day or two after surgery. recovery may take up to 4-6 weeks. The wound has to be kept clean by washing it with soap & water and apply ointment for a few days. It is advisable to keep child from injuring or picking up stitches with hands by splinting arms