Patient information > Treatment of cleft 

Treatment of cleft

Cleft lip and cleft palate treatment is multidisciplinary and involves at least 7 to 8 specialties at different times, such as pediatricians, orthodontists, plastic surgeons, speech language pathologists, maxillofacial surgeons, psychiatrists, social workers, and oto-laryngo-rhino surgeons. This joint effort is usually led by a plastic surgeon, as 80% of the job is done by the plastic surgeon.

A skilled surgical intervention is the most important part of the cleft treatment and should ideally take place at three months old for the lip and nine months for the palate. So act now!

Our cleft teams will provide detailed information about the treatment. This website provides introductory information only! For further information and in order to make medical decisions please consult a doctor!

Course of treatment

If the lip and palate are affected, two surgeries are needed: The first surgery - to repair the cleft lip - at 3 to 6 months of age, the second surgery - for the cleft palate - at 12 months of age. Severe clefts often need further treatment. Additional surgeries might become necessary during childhood and adolescence. Dental or orthodontic treatment as well as speech therapy is often required and is available at Al Mustafa Medical Center.

Cleft Pakistan with its dedicated cleft team offers a multidiciplinary approach to cleft treatment. If a new born is brought to us, pediatric care and orthodontic treatment is started. The child receives treatment for malnutrition and infection, and upon reaching an age of three months the lip is operated. At nine months, cleft palate is operated and the child is kept in follow up to watch for any signs of problems. When the child turns four years old, speech therapy is started if there are any speech difficulties. At six years, the child is assessed by an orthodontist to confirm normal growth of the teeth. At eight years, the child undergoes surgery of the alveolus (gums) by implanting a bone graft taken from the hip bone.

Sometimes when speech therapy is not sufficient alone, a surgical pharyngoplasty is performed to further improve speech with the help of speech therapists. If the child has problems in the nose, cleft rhinoplasty is offered at the age of 17 to 18 years. After each treatment, follow-up care is provided. Our project manager stays in contact with the patients and reminds them of the next treatment. Counseling and feeding instructions are made available by the cleft team at Al Mustafa Medical centre.

Contact us!

If you have a child or relative suffering from cleft please contact us via phone under 0300-1477780 or via email under to arrange treatment.