Top of the page
Cleft palate repair is surgery to fix a split (cleft) in the roof of the mouth, which is called the palate. The doctor made a cut (incision) along the edge of the cleft inside your child's mouth. Then the doctor used stitches to bring the cut edges together to cover the split.
Your child may need pain medicine for the first few days after surgery. The area around your child's mouth may be swollen for the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Your child may be more fussy than usual.
Your child will have stitches in the roof of their mouth that will slowly dissolve. Many children have a stuffy nose after surgery. If your child has trouble with congestion, your doctor may suggest a nose spray.
Most children are back to their usual behaviour about a week after surgery. It usually takes about 3 to 4 weeks for the incision to heal. Your child may need to wear padded arm splints for 1 to 2 weeks after surgery to prevent rubbing the surgery area.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to make sure your child gets better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter D556 in the search box to learn more about "Cleft Palate Repair in Children: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.