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Healing from cleft lip and cleft palate

Ask The Mayo Mom Podcast
©MFMER

Having a baby born with a cleft can be upsetting, but cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects, and both can be corrected.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are openings or splits in the upper lip; the roof of the mouth, or palate; or both. Cleft lip and cleft palate result when facial structures that are developing in an unborn baby don’t close completely.

Treatment involves surgery or a series of surgeries to repair the defect and therapies to improve any related conditions. Treatment seeks to improve the child’s ability to eat, speak and hear normally, and achieve a normal facial appearance.

On this edition of the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Angela Mattke, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician and host of “Ask the Mayo Mom”, discusses cleft lip and cleft palate with three Mayo Clinic Children’s Center experts: Dr. Samir Mardini, chair of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Dr. Shelagh Cofer, a pediatric otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon; and Dr. Waleed Gibreel, a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon.

Angela Mattke

Angela C. Mattke, M.D.

Dr. Mattke is the medical editor of Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child and  a pediatrician in the Division of Community Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

Samir Mardini. M.D.

 Dr. Mardini is the chair of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. 

Shelagh A. Cofer, M.D.

Dr. Cofer is a pediatric otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Waleed Gibreel, M.B.B.S.

Dr. Gibreel is a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

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