Cleft Lip

Monday, December 31, 2012

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a babys lip or mouth do not form properly. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about these defects in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Cleft lip occurs when the tissues of the upper jaw and nose do not join as expected during fetal development. This results in a split in the lip. Although cleft lips are obvious at birth, they generally have no significant effects on quality of life. For a few infants, feeding may be more difficult.

Cleft lip often occurs with cleft palate. The two are the most common birth defects of the head and neck. Most cases involve only one side of the upper lip and rarely occur in the lower lip.

Cleft lip is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. If a parent has a cleft palate or cleft lip, there is a greater chance of having a child with one.

Although treatment may be needed for many months or even years, cleft lip can be corrected by one or more surgeries. If cleft lip and cleft palate occur together, treatment may involve more than one surgery along with speech therapy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.