We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Cleft Lip Surgery?

K.C. Bruning
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cleft lip surgery is a procedure where a congenital split between two vertical parts of the upper lip is joined together. As the condition is a birth defect, the operation is usually initially performed within the first three months of a child’s life. Typically, several more operations are required throughout childhood in order to improve the functionality and visual appearance of the area and to accommodate for the growth of the child. Cleft lip surgery may be performed at the same time as cleft palate surgery, which corrects the same condition on the palate.

The patient is put under either general or intravenous sedation prior to cleft lip surgery. Incisions are made on each side of the split lip tissue. Then the tissue halves are carefully lined up before the gap is closed by being stitched together.

After the first cleft lip surgery, which closes the gap between the lip tissues, subsequent surgeries are performed for cosmetic and functional refinement of the lip area. Over the course of these surgeries, the patient should generally have full function of the lips. Cleft lip surgery is typically combined with careful dental care and, occasionally, speech rehabilitation, though both of these processes tend to be involved when the child also has a cleft palate.

Post-surgery treatment typically consists of the administration of medication for pain. Some doctors may restrain the child’s arms so that he does not tamper with the bandage or other parts of the lip area before it has had a chance to begin healing. These restraints are typically removed several times a day, when the child can be closely supervised.

Some of the most common risks of cleft lip surgery include infection, bleeding and damage to other body structures such as muscles, blood vessels and nerves. There is also a chance that the incisions will heal poorly, necessitating additional surgery to correct the problem. Scars associated with the surgery may also heal improperly.

There are several problems that cleft lip surgery can correct. One of the most significant is the ability to eat, which the condition can make especially complicated in the first months of life. Children with the condition also tend to have problems with speech, hearing loss and ear infections. Patients who also have a cleft palate may also have dental problems such as a high number of cavities.

For the most part, it is not known what causes a cleft lip. Many scientists believe that environmental and genetic elements play a role in the development of the condition. Certain medications are also thought to be a possible cause for cleft lip.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including WiseGEEK. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.

Discussion Comments

K.C. Bruning

K.C. Bruning

Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including WiseGEEK. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.