Treatment of clefts is highly individualized, depending on the overall health of the child and the severity and location of the clefts. Multiple surgeries and long-term follow-up are often necessary.
Because clefts can interfere with physical, language and psychological development, treatment is recommended as early as possible. Surgery to repair a cleft lip is usually done between 10 and 12 weeks of age.
A cleft palate is repaired through a procedure called palatoplasy, which is done between 9 and 18 months. Additional surgeries are often needed to achieve the best results. The child may also receive follow-up care from members of the multidisciplinary team on issues of speech, hearing, growth, dental, and psychological development.