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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 when a child is between ages 12 months and 18 months.
Most children stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days 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 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.
Surgery can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's surgery.
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Current as of: December 12, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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