Cleft lip and cleft palate is defined as a facial and oral malformation, which usually tends to affect the foetus. During this stage, the baby is still developing in the womb and when there is not ample tissue in the lip or the mouth, the problem of clefting occurs. This is basically a physical split or separation. The term cleft palate is a split or opening that happens on the roof of the mouth but could also be on either sides of the mouth. A paediatrician would identify this problem and start off with the cleft lip and palate treatment. However, it is not necessary that you will suffer from both together and often you can have a cleft lip without a cleft palate or even a cleft palate without a cleft lip.
Treatment procedures include Cleft Palate Speech Therapy followed with Cleft Palate and Lip and Palate Surgery too. The procedure depends on the mode of treatment. Usually surgery doesn't take more than an hour. In other cases, the problem is repaired with therapy, which can take a few weeks to a few months. Often, depending on the cleft lip causes, multiple surgeries are needed, which are performed at different intervals.
The opening in roof of mouth is treated post the therapy and the surgery along with speech therapy. The opening gradually closes and the deformity is fixed. Your child would be able resume a regular life post treatment.