Several medical professionals may be needed to correct the problems associated with the cleft in children born with a cleft lip or palate. In addition to needing plastic surgery to repair the opening, the children may have problems with feeding and their teeth, their hearing, their speech, and their psychological development as they grow up.
For that reason, parents should seek the help of a Cleft Lip and Palate Team as early as possible. Medical professionals with special experience in the problems of cleft lip and palate have formed such teams all over the country to help parents plan for their child’s care from birth, or even before. Typically, a Cleft Team might include a plastic surgeon, a pediatrician, a dentist, a speech and language specialist, a social worker, a hearing specialist, an ear-nose-throat specialist, a psychologist, a nurse, and a genetic counselor.
Ask Dr. Lesavoy for a referral to a Cleft Team in your area.
Or, for more information, contact The Cleft Palate Foundation, 1218 Grandview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15211 (telephone: 412-481-1376).