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Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery Explained: Recovery, Complications, and Aftercare

Zwivel is an online resource for plastic surgery patients. The website recently featured Dr. Obaid as an expert source for an article exploring cleft lip and palate surgery.

In addition to discussing the recovery timeline and possible followup procedures, Dr. Obaid also shared this inspiring message for parents of young babies with birth defects of the palate and lips:

"The good news is that most babies with a cleft lip or palate are otherwise in perfect health."

Read the interview with Dr. Obaid at

Baby Don recovering from surgery, gets new family

WFAA.COM – 12-29-09

FORT WORTH Baby Don was born on December 16, but life as he’ll come to know it began on Christmas Eve.

That’s when Dr. Sacha Obaid operated on his deformed jaw. It is so small that the infant’s tongue rolls back in his throat, choking him.

Dr. Obaid broke the bone, then fit it with screws, allowing it to be gradually enlarged, healing as a normal-size chin.

“Don did great through the whole procedure,” Dr. Obaid said. “He really got through it like a champion and like a fighter.”

Don’s birth mother gave up her parental rights, but volunteers with Fort Worth’s Gladney Center for Adoption are constantly with him.

“He’s able to reach out and touch the nurses … as well as snarl at me,” Dr. Obaid said.

Don will try a bottle for the first time next week, and when he’s cleared to go home, Gladney spokeswoman Jennifer Lanter said he will have a mother and father to go to – they’ve already selected his adoptive parents.

“They are a local family, and they’ve already been pre-approved through Gladney,” Lanter said. “They were wanting to adopt through the state foster system, so this is very good news indeed.”

Baby Don is recovering in the neonatal intensive care unit at Cook Children’s Medical Center. He will need one more surgery – to remove the screws in his jaw – in about three


Dr Sacha Obaid Featured in Photo-Essay on Fox News

When 21-year-old Katie Barbour of Copperas Cove, Texas learned her unborn baby had a bilateral cleft lip and a unilateral cleft palate, doctors also told her she was carrying a girl.

But baby John Tre was actually a boy. “It didn’t matter to me what he looked like,” Barbour said. “He’s my baby.” J.T., as his family calls him, was also born blind due to the deformity.

There are three reasons babies are born this way, said Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of “The most common reason is multi-factorial, meaning its environmental and we just don’t know. The second reason is genetics and the third is certain medications, taken by the mother during pregnancy, can cause it.” Barbour said doctors don’t know what caused J.T.’s face to be deformed.

That’s where Dr. Sacha Obaid of North Texas Plastic Surgery came in. ( He performed the 6 1/2 hour surgery on May 12 that began rebuilding J.T.’s face.

J.T. was missing bones in his face and jaw.

Next month, Obaid will operate on J.T. again. He will concentrate on the baby’s eyes, but unfortunately will not be able to restore J.T.’s sight. He will have to learn Braille, Barbour said.

“I’m not going to treat him any differently,” Barbour said. “He doesn’t have any IQ problems, just a physical deformity.” Barbour called her son a “happy baby.”

Today, J.T. is 8-months-old, and Barbour said her son is healing fine. He cannot eat baby food yet, but that will come with time.