Cleft Lip is a birth defect that affects about 1 in every 4,000 babies born each year in the United States. Cleft Lip occurs when the right and left sides of the upper lip do not properly form, resulting in a communication between the mouth, nose and lip. Cleft Lip can be as minimal as a small notch on the upper lip or cause a complete separation of the facial elements that involves the nose and palate.
As a world renowned expert in Cleft Lip, Dr. Elliot B. Duboys has operated all over the world and has performed thousands of cleft surgeries. Dr. Duboys is the co-founder of the Stony Brook University Cleft & Craniofacial Team and headed the team for almost 25 years. Additionally, Dr. Duboys travels extensively throughout the world teaching cleft surgery in underdeveloped and underserved countries.
Today, the diagnosis of a Cleft Lip or cleft palate can be made with ultrasound treatment while a woman is pregnant. Dr. Duboys believes that you should seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon immediately after the diagnosis has been made so that you can see the amazing results that are achievable today with early surgery. Dr. Duboys considers the birth of a baby, or the ultrasound diagnosis of a baby with a cleft a reason for urgent consultation and he will arrange his schedule so that you may meet with him either in the hospital, as in the case of a birth of a baby, or in his office within 24 hours!
Cleft Lip Treatment
Dr. Duboys recommends surgical repair of Cleft Lip at approximately 3 months of age. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia using the services of a pediatric anesthesiologist. Because cleft surgery frequently involves other disciplines, a multidisciplinary and team approach is taken with the participation of multiple medical specialties, including pediatrics, otolaryngology, speech and hearing, orthodontists, oral surgery, genetics, social workers etc.
Recovery from Cleft Lip Surgery
Your infant will typically spend one night in the hospital and be discharged the following day. Specific feeding instructions will be given to you following your child’s surgery. You also need to make sure the treatment area is kept clean. Although a scar is visible after surgery, it will soon fade and should become nearly invisible.
Please inform our office staff if an ultrasound diagnosis has been made so that we may rearrange our schedule to accommodate you within 24 hours.