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Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate



Cleft lip and cleft palate, orofacial cleft, cleft lip and palate, harelip*

Medical category:

Otolaryngology, pediatrics


Not contagious

Common among:

Newborn baby

Medical diagnosis:




Medical treatment:



Yes unless treated

Permanent cure:


What are cleft lip and cleft palate?

Cleft lip and cleft palate are common birth defects. Cleft palate is the condition where the palate (roof of the mouth) is not completely formed during fetal development; possibly leaving openings that connects the mouth and the nasal cavity. Cleft lip is the condition where the upper lip is not completely formed and has openings or splits. Complete cleft refers to the condition where both cleft lip and cleft palate are present, and where the openings of the upper lip extend, though the nose, into the mouth, merging with the opening of the palate. Complete clefts are more common in boys, whereas cleft palate without cleft lip is more common in girls.

What causes cleft lip and cleft palate?

Cleft lip and cleft palate happen when the lip tissues do not fuse with the palate tissues during fetal development. No one, however, knows exactly why it happens. It is believed that both genetic (family history) and environmental factors (what the mother was exposed to during pregnancy) are involved. Read more about Causes and Risk Factors of Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate

Can cleft lip and cleft palate be cured?

Yes. Cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgeries can significantly improve the patient’s ability to eat, breath, and talk. Treatments for specific complications of cleft lip and cleft palate are also available. Such treatments and surgeries will greatly improve the patient’s facial appearance and quality of life in general. Read more about Treatments for Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate

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All information provided on this page is general and meant for educational purposes only.
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