Those moments after a child is born are precious. As a parent, you've been waiting to meet your perfect little bundle of joy. If your baby has a craniofacial or cleft condition, those first moments can be scary and emotional.
The craniofacial and cleft team here at Cook Children's understands your concerns. Led by Dr. Eric Hubli, our team specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery for children with face, head and neck conditions that they are born with, or may acquire later due to traumatic injury, disease or developmental disorder.
We're here to help you learn about your child's condition and the treatment options that can help your child have a bright future.
Specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery for children with face, head and neck conditions that they are born with, or may acquire later due to traumatic injury, disease or developmental disorder.
- Cleft lip and palate
- Abnormalities of the skull
- Abnormalities of the orbits and midface
- Abnormalities of the jaws
- Ear deformities
- Vascular lesions
- Named syndromes
Craniofacial conditions can sometimes have other related issues. In these cases, the Craniofacial and Cleft Surgery program enlists the talents of:
- Primary care physicians
- Pediatric and neonatal intensive care
- Oral surgery
- Speech pathology
- Other services as needed
The program works together with other specialties to care for the unique issues of each patient.
Whether your child has just been diagnosed with a cleft lip or palate, is scheduled for surgery, or on the road to recovery, you probably have lots of questions. The following are the questions we are asked most often before and during visits. Of course, if you don't find the answers to your questions, please feel free to contact us at 682-885-7770.
What happens during cleft surgery?
To ensure your child's comfort, your doctor will recommend the appropriate anesthesia for your child. To close a cleft lip, an incision on either side of the cleft creates a flap that is then drawn together with stitches. To close a cleft palate, the surgical team creates a flap and that allows for the rebuilding of the tissue, bone, and muscle of the palate. The flap is then closed with stitches. It is important to note that because of a child's continued growth and development, additional procedures may be necessary.
How many surgeries will my child need?
What is the approximate length of time for the surgery? The extent of surgery depends on whether the child has a cleft lip, palate or both. Having a cleft lip doesn't mean he or she will also have a cleft palate. The cleft lip and cleft palate are formed at two different stages of pregnancies. In order to fix the cleft lip children usually will have surgery at 3 to 6 months. A second surgery may be needed, but that depends on if one or two sides are affected.
If only one side is affected then only one surgery on the lip will be needed, but if both sides are affected he or she will need two surgeries on the lip. The first surgery is when the baby is 3 to 6 months old, but doctors will decide for sure based on how your child is doing. The next surgery would then be at 9 to 12 months or age or when the child is ready.
Every case is different, and the length of time of each surgery is dependent on many factors such as type of repair, whether it is cleft lip, palate or both and if one or both sides are affected. This is a question your doctor should be able to answer prior to the actual surgery.
How long will my baby need to stay?
For the first two surgeries you can plan on staying 2-3 nights. The palate surgery is more extensive, and requires two or three nights in the medical center.
You probably have lots of questions. We can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment, or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-7770.