Cleft Lip Surgery in Kansas City

Cleft Lip & Palate

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Understanding Cleft Lip & Palate

The development of a cleft lip and/or palate occurs when the two sides of the lip, nose, or roof of the mouth do not join properly in utero. While a cleft lip alone can make eating difficult, a cleft palate has a bigger impact on speech and feeding due to the open communication between the mouth and the nasal cavity.

Children who develop a cleft lip and palate are also prone to recurrent ear infections, hearing difficulties, and dental issues. This oftentimes requires a well-coordinated multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

Causes of Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft lip and cleft palate occur very early in pregnancy. By the time a prenatal diagnosis is made by ultrasound, the cleft has already formed. Although the exact cause of a cleft lip or palate is not known in many cases, the majority of clefts are attributed to genetic or environmental factors. Environmental factors include alcohol, tobacco products, and certain medications.

How We Provide Care

A child born with a cleft lip or palate often requires comprehensive and multidisciplinary care from birth through adulthood. Dr. Christopher and Dr. Weiss are both fellowship trained in Pediatric Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery and are the lead surgeons of the Kansas City Cleft and Craniofacial Center. Their interdisciplinary team approach for all patients comprises a group of specialized professionals including the following:

  • Pediatric Cleft and Craniofacial Surgeons
  • Pediatric Dentists
  • Orthodontists
  • Speech and Language Pathologists
  • Pediatric ENT, Audiologist
  • Child psychologists and social workers
  • Geneticists

For more information on Cleft Lip and Palate, visit our specific webpage:

Before & Afters

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