American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Correcting Abnormal Development

Cleft lip and palate repair surgically corrects abnormal development, restoring function to the lips and mouth and producing a more normal appearance.

What questions should I ask my child's plastic surgeon about cleft lip and palate repair?

Use this checklist as a guide during your child's cleft repair surgery consultation:

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
  • Were you specially trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • How many procedures of this type have you performed?
  • Is my child a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected to get the best results?
  • Where and how will you perform my child's procedure?
  • What shape, size, surface texturing, incision site and placement site are recommended for my child?
  • How long of a recovery period can we expect, and what kind of help will my child need during my recovery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my child's cleft surgery?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each procedure and what are reasonable results?


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