Knowing that you will have a son or daughter fills you with emotion, however, knowing that your baby has a cleft lip and palate will make you consider and look for alternatives on what to do and where to go for care.
The first thing to know is that it is a congenital condition that occurs when the tissues and bones that make up the lip and/or palate fail to close completely, resulting in a cleft or separation.
It occurs between the first four or six weeks of pregnancy and it has not been determined that it is due to a single cause but to something multifactorial such as genetic factors, family history, environment (if the pregnant mother had diabetes before pregnancy), drug use, to name a few.
Although cleft lip and palate cannot be prevented, it is possible to correct it through the attention of a multidisciplinary team whose purpose will be to achieve your child’s optimal development so they can successfully integrate into society.
The following are the specialists who will be involved in the care of your son or daughter and what their role is:
- Plastic surgeons. Physicians responsible for lip and palate surgery, have the necessary knowledge about the surgical procedure, recovery, and alternate surgeries.
- Pediatrician Assesses the patients the first time they arrive at the Clinic and checks the children at the office visit.
- Nutritionists. They evaluate the growth and development of children, providing advice to improve nutrition. Their priorities are getting the baby fed properly and preparing them for surgery.
- Psychology and family therapy. They work with the whole family to improve relationships and communication. They also help reduce the sadness and guilt that parents might feel about this situation.
- Speech therapists. Professionals who will teach children to speak correctly to understand them. If, after the age of three, children have difficulty pronouncing some sounds correctly, they should attend speech therapy where they will be taught the necessary exercises so that they can work at home and correct their language problems.
- Odontology. These professionals will perform oral cleaning, cure chipped teeth, and teach parents and children the correct way to brush their teeth.
- Group of volunteer parents. They have previously experienced a similar situation in their family and seek to share their experience, helping those who are currently experiencing this situation and solving their doubts and concerns.
What to do when your baby or child is diagnosed with cleft lip and palate?
Come to the ABC Medical Center’s Amistad Clinic located on the Santa Fe Campus in Mexico City, as it has the Cleft Lip and Palate Program that cares for economically vulnerable patients from anywhere in the country.
Its goal is to identify and initiate multidisciplinary treatment for children with this condition. It is important to know that support is given from the moment you enter the program and until they turn 18, or before if they conclude the treatment.
The treatment consists of surgery or surgeries to correct the separation or cleft of the lip and/or palate and, subsequently, an appointments program and follow-up therapies to ensure the development of your son or daughter.
Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery
It is not known for sure if your son or daughter will need one or more surgeries during their entire program, this will depend on each child, however, in the first surgery the aim is to repair the lip and, if possible, the palate or, according to the recommendation of the surgeon and the medical team in charge, the number of surgeries and steps to follow to improve the functionality, speech, and physical appearance of the lip and nose will be determined.
The surgery or surgeries will be at the ABC Medical Center, Santa Fe Campus and, by receiving general anesthesia, your baby will not feel pain or be awake during the entire procedure. By the treating physician’s orders and those of the group of specialists who accompany them in the process, your son or daughter will return home after one or two days with a liquid-based diet and then start with a soft diet. All this will be made known to you when your child is discharged.
Subsequently, they will return for follow-up visits at the ABC Amistad Clinic according to what is indicated.
Remember that the entire team that works at the Clinic is a specialized group that will be very happy to assist you. The program has more than 20 years of experience, which speaks of its solidity and ABC Medical Center’s commitment to providing access to highly specialized health services in an inclusive and supportive manner.
What will they ask to support you?
That your daughter or son is under 10 years old
- Current residence in Mexico.
- Meet socioeconomic criteria.
- No serious neurological or cardiological conditions.
- Submit a clinical summary or previous tests, if any.
At ABC Medical Center’s Cleft Lip and Palate Program, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!