Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate Project

Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate ProjectCleft Lip & Cleft Palate Project

Before Surgical Operation After Operation

DISORDER OF CLEFT LIP AND PALATE This disorder is associated with the abnormalities sustained in a baby during the pregnancy. There are various versions for these disorders, however exact cause for the same is yet to be known. It is also termed as congenital abnormality. Sickness during first three months of pregnancy, use of drugs like steroids, Diazepam, Phenytoin etc. may cause this disorder in a baby or it may be a disorder due to past family history.

This disorder can be of following types: -

  1. Total or Partial Cleft Lip.
  2. Total or Partial Cleft Palate.
  3. Total Cleft Lip and Palate (Mixed)
  4. Disorder of Cleft Lip and Palate on both sides of face.

The children as well as parents have to face following difficulties because of this disorder:

  1. Psychological pressures imposed due to this disorder on their face as well as loss of confidence developed in the child due to the same.
  2. Problems associated with the breast feeding for a newly born baby with these disorders lead to regurgitation of feed, milk and water and intermittent cough, cold and the sickness associated with Ear, Nose and Throat.
  3. Speech Problems due to Cleft Lip and Palate. For the treatment of this disorder a team consisting of Principal Investigator, Plastic Surgeon & Orthodontist plays a central role. The Child Pediatrician, Anesthetist, Speech therapist, ENT Specialist also contribute and play an important role.

Steps during the treatment for this disorder:

  1. To console the parents and other relatives of a newly born baby with the disorder and collect as much information as possible on this disorder.
  2. Thorough Medical check-up of newly born child having this disorder by Pediatrician and thorough consultation of the Mother of the newly born baby, on breast feed of the baby with the disorder.
  3. Surgery on the Baby after its completion of 3-4 months.

Surgery on backside palate------ After the child attains age of 1 year.
After the child starts speaking-----. Speech therapy
Minor surgery on nostrils and lip –After the child attains the age of 4 to 5 years.
In order to see that the child gets proper teeth, bone grafting is performed in the place of palate.
Surgery on face and jaw after the child attains the age of 18 to 20 years after complete development of face.

In today’s modern world with the development of science, the treatment is indeed possible on these disorders and the child having these disorders can look as well as speak like any other normal child. Timely treatment can develop the child like any other normal child. What is essential is the Willpower, Awareness and Co-operation of all concerned.

In the under privileged districts of Konkan Region, the physical disorder is traditionally being attributed to past Karma or the creation of ghosts etc. and in the process, particularly mother of the child born with this disorder has been suffering along with the child for having given birth to a child with such disorder. However, now, it’s a matter of pride that quality medical care for the disorder is being administered, free of charge (including Orthodental Treatment and Speech Therapy) at the B K L Walawalkar Hospital, Dervan, since year 2003, with the active financial support from an International Institute namely, ‘Transforming Faces Worldwide, Canada’. Till June 2005, 360 children have been treated at the Hospital. An expenditure of Rs. 25,49,000/- has been incurred so far, for the treatment, apart from a Capital Expenditure amounting to Rs. 4,77,000/- for the project.

Our Community health physician and Dental surgeon have conducted, ‘Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate - Health Awareness Sessions’ for the parents. Hospital has designed an informative booklet in vernacular language regarding the ‘Management of Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Baby at Home’. Free distribution of such booklets is done at camps. In the Booklet, an attempt has been made to explain the myths about cleft lip and cleft palate; etiology, different types of cleft lip and cleft palate, it also explains proper feeding techniques, in order that baby should gain weight; information regarding surgical interference etc. This booklet has since encouraged parents to undertake the treatment for the deformity of their children and being aware, they are now taking keen interest in the treatment.