A cleft lip is when the lip incompletely forms in utero, and cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth is not completely formed during development. These conditions can form together or independently (meaning your child may only have a cleft lip but no cleft palate or the inverse). They can also form on either side of the mouth.
Typically, the best time for our surgical team to begin intervention is between two and six months of age. The first operations generally focus on correcting issues with a cleft lip. Later surgery, between the ages of nine and eighteen months old, will begin to help with the formation of the cleft palate.
Some patients will only require a few procedures, while others may require many more in order to correct the issue and re-establish the proper orientation of the nasal, oral, and eustachian passages. However, the staff at the New York Institute of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will ensure that you are always part of the discussion in outlining treatment plans and discussing the goals of each and every operation. We want to make sure that we take complete care of our patient, and that includes ensuring that everybody understands exactly what success looks like.
Fortunately, most insurance plans recognize the importance of the surgeries to correct cleft lip and cleft palate. These surgeries are directly related to your child’s improved ability to breathe, eat, drink, hear, and speak. While most insurance plans do cover the procedures, individual plans can vary in exactly what they cover. If you have questions, you can contact your insurance provider directly to discuss your plan, or you can work with our office to help determine your exact insurance benefits.
If you or your child need cleft lip or cleft palate surgery, please contact New York Institute of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today. Our talented and professional staff are here to take care of your needs today.