What does having a cleft lip and palate mean?

A cleft lip or palate occurs when the tissue that makes up the upper lip or roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. There can be a wide range in the severity of the cleft and it can affect the face, mouth and head in a variety of ways. A cleft can occur on one side of the mouth (unilateral) or both sides of the mouth (bilateral). A cleft can affect the way a person eats, drinks, smiles, kisses and speaks. Although clefts are usually repaired in the first year of life, many children need additional surgeries and treatments as they get older to improve their breathing, hearing, speech and language development, and appearance. These children can also require special dental or orthodontic care.

In the United States, about 7,000 infants are affected by cleft lip and/or palate per year. The causes of a cleft are usually unknown; however they can be the result of a genetic condition. Some clefts can be detected prenatally on ultrasound. If that is the case, prenatal counseling can be offerred to help prepare the family for a child with a cleft. Craniofacial surgeons, Dr. Isaac Wornom and Dr. Sharline Aboutanos, can help provide information and offer services in a multi-disciplinary team approach.

For more information regarding cleft lip and/or palate, please call (804) 285-4115 more details.


Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery for the whole body

At Richmond Plastic Surgeons, our goal is to provide the highest quality care with a personalized, comforting experience. Lewis Ladocsi MD, Isaac Wornom MD, Darrin Hubert MD, Sharline Aboutanos MD, Douglas Rowe MD, Stephen Chen MD and Matthew Stanwix MD bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and training in all aspects of cosmetic surgery, covering virtually any part of the body. Please note that we have physicians on staff who speak Spanish.

Pediatric Plastic Surgeons

We have two pediatric plastic surgeons on staff who can see your child at our offices within 24 hours of an injury or burn - Dr. Aboutanos and Dr. Wornom. One of our plastic surgeons can see you and your child for injuries that can leave scars, to remove atypical lesions or moles, or to perform surgery for congenital defects such as a cleft lip or palate.

Your plastic surgery procedure is not in the spotlight

From the time you walk in the door until you leave the recovery room, your visit is calm and discreet. Our team of dedicated doctors, nurses, and assistants will treat you with personalized attention and allow you to avoid the hassles of a large hospital operating facility.

Our fully-accredited outpatient surgical center

Our surgery center is conveniently located adjacent to our Bremo Road office on the campus of St. Mary’s Hospital in the West End of Richmond and offers you the discretion you or your child deserves. This center was designed exclusively for plastic surgery, and our outstanding staff has vast experience with caring for patients just like you.

Se habla Español









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