American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Correcting Abnormal Development

Cleft lip repair and cleft palate repair are types of surgery used to correct this abnormal development and are meant to restore function to the lips and mouth along with 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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