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Cleft Lip or Palate Surgery

Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate Surgery by an Oral Surgeon

Cleft lip and cleft palates have been tied to an improper formation of the lip or roof of the mouth while a baby is in development in their mother’s womb. While these abnormalities have been tied to a specific syndrome, or are thought to be the result of a complex relation of genetic and environmental factors, the fact remains for your young child that they need some intervention to allow their speech, breathing, eating, and hearing to all develop normally. Fortunately, cleft lip and cleft palate are some of the most common birth abnormalities in North America, so there is a variety of literature and research available in the medical field about these issues.

At New York Institute of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, our professional and talented staff make sure to stay on the cutting edge of research so that we can offer our patients the best techniques for their care that they can get anywhere.
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Understanding the Process

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.

The Cosmetic Side

Many outsiders may believe that cleft lip and palate surgeries are specifically focused on lessening the appearance of the cleft lip. While this is one aspect of the surgery, our primary focus is to properly establish your child’s ability to breathe, eat, and hear.

However, because our staff is incredibly talented, improving the appearance of cleft lip and palate is another avenue that we can focus on. Many people never know that our patients had issues with cleft lips and palates, and we have specific techniques that we use to help disguise the signs of cleft lips. We understand the importance of giving your child the appearance they deserve, and you want.

The Cost of Surgeries

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.

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