Top of the page
The roof of the mouth is called the palate. Cleft palate repair is surgery to fix a split (cleft) in the palate. The doctor will make a cut along the edge of the cleft inside your child's mouth. This cut is called an incision. The doctor will use stitches to bring the cut edges together to cover the split. Your child will be asleep during the surgery.
Your child may need more than one surgery to make the repair. The first surgery is usually done before a child is 12 months old.
Most children have a short hospital stay after surgery. It usually takes about 3 to 4 weeks for a child to heal.
After surgery, it will be easier for your child to eat, breathe, and make the sounds needed for speech. Some children need more surgery on their lips, nose, or mouth as they get older to improve their speech.
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 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.
Surgery can be stressful for both your child and you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter P745 in the search box to learn more about "Cleft Palate Repair: Before Your Child's Surgery".
Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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.
©2006-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.