Many children are born with craniofacial disorders like cleft lip and palate. On the surface, these issues are certainly noticeable – cosmetically speaking anyway.
But in the June 2012 issue of Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America, Dr. Laura Swibel Rosenthat, MD, of Loyaly University says kids with cleft lip/palate disorders may face serious airway, feeding, speech and hearing problems. Besides these critical issues, kids could also experience other social and psychological challenges.
According to the Cleft Palate Foundation, approximately 1 in 600 babies in the U.S. are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. The defect can range from just a small notch in the lip all the way to a grove that runs to the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip and/or palate can occur by itself or it can occur in combination with other craniofacial birth defects.
(Craniofacial disorders basically refers to an abnormality of the face and/or head)
When managing these disorders, the first priority is to ensure a safe airway since there is high potential for nasal obstruction or sleep apnea. Cleft lip/palate patients are also at a higher risk for developing upper airway problems like sinusitis, laryngitis and rhinitis.
Hearing loss is another problem sufferers of cleft lip and palate will face. Often times, the loss in hearing occurs progressively. Rosenthal and others write that craniofacial patients should receive periodic hearing tests in addition to the hearing test at birth.
“The management of patients with craniofacial syndromes is complex,” comments Rosenthal. It addition to otolaryngologists, craniofacial patients require a lot of attention ranging from speech pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and even psychology or psychiatry.
To fully deal with craniofacial problems, several corrective surgeries are generally required. Procedures are generally performed in stages. Rosenthal, et al suggest a multidisciplinary approach that includes genetic counseling. This information can help parents what to expect and learn any useful points that may apply to other family members.
To deal with cleft lip/palate or a host of other craniofacial disorders from a cosmetic perspective, specialists at Gainesville’s Accent Plastics can help. Dr. Daniel J. Hall possesses very specialized experience in helping kids address their craniofacial issues and in fact maintains a separate practice and certifications in this highly specialized area.
To learn more or discuss treatment options, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Original story published in Medical News Today – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/245800.php