The outcome of your child's initial cleft lip and/or cleft palate repair will make a vast difference in his or her quality of life, ability to breathe, eat, and speak. However, secondary procedures may be needed for functional reasons or to refine appearance. Even though the scars of a cleft lip repair are generally located within the normal contours of the face, they will always be present.
A special note: It is important to understand that while a cleft may be surgically repaired in a single plastic surgery procedure, treatment of a child born with a cleft continues through adolescence and sometimes even adulthood. As a child grows, secondary plastic surgery as well as other related surgical procedures to improve function and appearance may be required.