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CLEFT INFORMATION

Overview cleft lip and palate

More than 9000 babies each year are born with cleft lip and/or palate conditions in Pakistan. The management and treatment involves many medical specialities. The most important is the Plastic surgeon, who performs the surgeries of lip, palate and nose, followed by the Orthodontist and speech lanagauage pathologist, who improve the speech and facial profile.

In Pakistan cleft lip and cleft palate is a disease of the poor population group, and women are blamed for all the misery due to this problem. There are many myths associated with cleft lip and cleft palate in the Pakistani population. The most ill perceived idea is that it is a result of lunar or solar eclipse. A second common false idea of causation of cleft lip and cleft palate is a curse placed on the pregnant mother, or black magic influence on the mother by envious relatives.



Bilateral cleft lip and palate
Bilateral cleft lip and palate

Simple cleft lip

Simple cleft lip



Cleft palate

Cleft palate



Left-hand lip and maxilla cleft

Left-hand lip and maxilla cleft



Transverse cranio-facial cleft with partial loss of eye

Transverse cranio-facial cleft with partial loss of eye



Full cleft of lip and maxilla

Full cleft of lip and maxilla



Effects of Cleft

Babies with cleft are often sickly and malnourished due to feeding problems. If these cleft conditions are left untreated, these children will suffer both physically and emotionally as they face a life of torment, poor health, isolation, and illiteracy. Speech issues as well as hearing, dental and bone structure problems additionally hamper their involvement in the community.

Frequently both children and their families are ostracised by their communities, and many family units break down due to the stress and peer pressure.

Sadly 12% of babies born with clefts and whose clefts are not repaired die before the age of five.

The good news is that cleft can be very well treated!



Causes of cleft

Even though cleft lips and palates are the most common congenital deformations of humankind it is still not fully clear from the medical point of view what actually causes them. There is no single reason for cleft.
Rather, there are genetic and environmental factors that influence the likelihood that a child is born with a cleft condition:



No person can be held responsible for the deformity.