Development of a fetus within a mother's womb is a complicated biological process and also involves many intricate chemical processes. One well known deformity that has been reported fairly regularly with infants is that of a cleft lip. A statistics of average states that one baby in every 2000 births will be born with a cleft lip.
This is a condition that is easily treatable through surgery.
What is a Cleft Lip?
A cleft lip, which more often than not comes with a cleft palate as well, is a deformity where the lips of the baby's mouth aren't joined properly to the face on the upper lip. It appears to be like a slit on the upper lip that runs to the nose.
In most cases this is accompanied by the cleft palate where the slit may have the shape not just superficially, but the roof of the mouth may also be carved out in a similar shape.
Causes behind cleft lip development
Some of the factors that may lead to cleft lip and cleft palate developments are mentioned below:
Genetic - In most cases these deformities are usually passed on from one of the parents to the baby.
Medicinal - If the pregnant mother takes certain anti-seizure or anti convulsing drugs it may contribute to the defects.
Infections - If the mother gets infected with certain diseases, it may also contribute to this deformity.
Benefits and need for Cleft Lip Surgery
While for some, cleft lip surgery may be an absolutely a cosmetic procedure, for others it may be essential for correcting other issues.
Some of the major benefits of cleft lip surgery are:
Issues with eating food - With cleft lip surgery, difficulties in eating and consumption of food will be reduced or completely eliminated as many patients have reported difficulties in this area.
Speech problems - By far the most number of complaints with cleft lip deformities have been with speech problems, which the surgery along with speech therapy, can definitely help to correct.
Reducing the chance of ear nose and throat infections - Children who have a cleft lip and palate are at an increased risk of ENT infections and thus, a cleft lip correction surgery can help reduce the chances for that.
Dental problems - Another area where surgery may help is with dental problems as a cleft lip and palate is known to cause deformities in teeth as well.