Cleft lips can range in severity from a slight notch in the red part of the upper lip to a complete separation of the lip extending into the nose. Clefts can occur on one or both sides of the upper lip. Surgery is usually done when the child is about 10 weeks old.
A cleft lip is a separation of the upper lip that can extend into the nose.(Pict.01)
To repair a cleft lip, Dr. Lesavoy will first make an incision on each side of the cleft from the lip to the nostril. (Pict.02)
To repair a cleft lip, Dr. Lesavoy will make an incision on either side of the cleft from the mouth into the nostril. He will then turn the dark pink outer portion of the cleft down and pull the muscle and the skin of the lip together to close the separation. Muscle function and the normal “cupid’s bow” shape of the mouth are restored. The nostril deformity often associated with cleft lip may also be improved at the time of lip repair or in a later surgery.
The cleft lip is then drawn together and stitched to create a normal “cupid’s bow” shape to the upper lip. (Pict.03)
The scar left after surgery will gradually fade with time. (Pict.04)