Cleft lips and cleft palates occur in roughly 1 of every 500-700 births. While the exact cause of them is still unknown, making prevention impossible, the alarming percentage creates the need for local help. If a child is born with either one of these birth defects, surgery can be performed to resolve the facial issue.
About Cleft Lips & Cleft Palates
Cleft lips and cleft palates are birth defects that affect the upper lip and roof of the mouth, and severity can vary depending on the child. As incomplete formations of the skin, both between the nose and upper lip and on the roof of the mouth, they can impact the appearance of the child’s face. More importantly, they can lead to other problems including complications pertaining to speech and feeding, and can even result in ear infections. It’s important to undergo a surgical procedure to fix the defect at a young age, to prevent complications while growing older.
Cleft Lip/Palate Surgery Options
Dr. John Noonan of The Plastic Surgery Group in Albany, NY, specializes in surgical procedures involving cleft lips and palates and is a member of the American Cleft Palate Association. Additionally, he donates his time and talent to a bi-monthly craniofacial clinic he helped establish in 1983 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. There, he offers facial reconstruction and cosmetic enhancements to children with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other congenital facial anomalies, as well as those disfigured by burns and trauma. The program is available regardless of patient insurance or ability to pay. He has also volunteered with several relief efforts over the years including Operation Smile to help restore facial features distorted by conflict or natural disasters.
“One of the best feelings in the world is seeing a child smile after correcting his or her facial anomaly,” said Dr. Noonan. “All these kids are perfect in their own way. But these corrections help prevent potential speech impediments and also impact their long-term self-esteem. The confidence that it gives them is truly priceless.”
Would you like to find out more about corrective surgery? Request a free consultation with one of the surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group or call (518) 438-0505.