Cleft Lip and/or Palate

A cleft lip and/or palate is a congenital (present from birth) facial deformity that can involve the lip, maxillary bone, and the nose. The treatment needs of this defect can vary from patient to patient and, therefore, are best managed by a team of specialists competent in this area. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are ideally suited to perform various complex treatments regarding this condition. Our surgeons have been members of the Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center Cleft Lip & Palate Team for almost two decades and are dedicated to treatment of this condition.  Our surgeons work closely with other specialists including orthodontists, otolaryngologists, speech therapists, prosthodontists, pediatric dentists, geneticists, pediatric surgeons, and primary care doctors. They provide treatment aimed at achieving the safest and most effective outcome.

The Surgery:

Our surgeons play an important role in the treatment of children and adults with cleft lip and palate. One of the common procedures performed by our oral surgeons is bone grafting to the maxilla when bone is not present due the cleft formation. This surgery takes place in a hospital operating room under general anesthesia.  During this procedure, a bone graft will be placed within the alveolar cleft defect in the mouth and the surrounding gum tissue will be closed over the grafted area. Various bone grafting materials have been used for this procedure, but the “gold standard” is autogenous (from a person’s own body) bone that is obtained from the patient’s hip bone.  The small bone graft removal from the hip bone and current placement of the bone graft within the cleft defect are completed during the same surgery. After the surgery is completed, the surgeons will guide each patient post operatively to ensure a safe and healthy recovery. The experienced surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants will work closely with every patient and his or her care team to determine the best treatment options for each patient’s unique circumstance.