My Baby Was Born With a Cleft Lip. What Now?
First and foremost, congratulations! The birth of a child is perhaps the most amazing thing that will ever happen to a couple. The first thing that you need to know is that your baby will have a happy, healthy life.
Dr. Obaid sees babies with cleft lip from all over the Dallas and Fort Worth area. In his experience, plastic surgery and craniofacial surgery have advanced to the point that we can repair cleft lips and noses with very good results. For the vast majority of babies, cleft lips and/or palates are the only health problems that they have. Once they are taken care of, children lead otherwise totally normal healthy lives.
When Should My Baby Have Their Cleft Lip Repaired?
Dr. Obaid sees many children with cleft lip. He typically performs a repair of the cleft lip at 3 months of age. If a baby is born prematurely or has difficulty growing or gaining weight, Dr. Obaid may delay the repair a few weeks.
It is important that you make an appointment early to see Dr. Obaid so that he can assess your baby’s overall health and determine the optimal time for surgery. If you are travelling from outside the Dallas or Fort Worth area to see Dr. Obaid, please plan on making an appointment sooner rather than later to allow for surgery scheduling and travel planning.
My Baby Has a Cleft Lip and a Cleft Palate. When Should They Be Repaired?
Dr. Obaid will perform the cleft lip repair at 3 months of age. However, the cleft palate cannot be repaired until the child is a bit older. Dr. Obaid typically performs the cleft palate at a second surgery at 9 to 12 months of age.
What Will the Recovery from the Surgery Be Like?
Dr. Obaid will keep your baby overnight in the hospital after their cleft lip repair. Most babies have a return of their appetite the night of the surgery. You will be able to bottle feed your baby that night. Provided that your baby is able to eat well, you will be able to return home the morning following the surgery.
Dr. Obaid will place soft “No No” guards to help keep your baby's hands from disrupting the repair while you are at home. Dr. Obaid will see you back in his office 5 days after the surgery to remove the stitches. There will be no dressings to change at home.
Will My Baby Need More Than One Surgery?
Dr. Obaid will repair your baby’s cleft lip at three months of age. If they have a cleft palate as well, this will be repaired at a second surgery between nine and twelve months of age.
Unfortunately, while the initial cleft lip repair may correct your baby’s appearance, it does not change the abnormal growth of the face that results from the cleft lip. As a result, Dr. Obaid typically performs a revisionary surgery on the lip and nose if necessary at five years of age so that the results are as perfect as can be prior to your child starting school.
Some children with cleft lip have limited forward growth of the upper jaw and lower third of the face as they grow through adolescence and puberty. For these children, a surgery called a LeFort I osteotomy and advancement is performed by Dr. Obaid to bring the teeth together in a normal relationship and more importantly to improve the overall appearance of your child’s face. Finally, at seventeen to eighteen years of age, when a child has completed growth, a final nasal correction is performed by Dr. Obaid.
Where Will Dr. Obaid Perform the Cleft Lip Repair?
Dr. Obaid believes that your baby’s safety is the most important consideration when fixing their cleft lip. As a result, whether you are coming from the Dallas area, the Fort Worth area, or from Louisiana or Oklahoma, he will perform the cleft lip repair at Cooks Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
There, Dr. Obaid uses only formally trained pediatric anesthesiologists who have the experience and dedication to take great care of your baby!
Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Obaid at North Texas Plastic Surgery by calling 817-416-8080 to discuss your child's cleft lip repair. We have offices in Southlake and Plano, Texas, and we welcome patients throughout the Dallas area and visitors from out-of-state.