According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 2,000 babies are born each year with a cleft palate and just over 4,000 babies are born with a cleft lip, which compared to the 4 million babies that are born into the United States each year, is actually fairly low. If you or your partner are pregnant and have recently found out that your unborn baby has either of these birth defects, you more than likely have a million questions circulating through your mind. As two of the surgeries that we specialize in here at Associated Plastic Surgeons, we want you to feel informed and rest easy knowing that we will do what we can to help your child. Just like with anything medical related, there are a variety of myths surrounding cleft palates and cleft lips. Let’s take a closer look.
Myth 1: It’s Purely Cosmetic
Yes, it’s true that you want to do everything to ensure that your child grows up feeling and looking as healthy as possible. One of the largest misconceptions that people have about cleft palates and lips is that they are purely cosmetic. However, that simply isn’t the case. Babies born with these defects often suffer from problems with eating, chewing, and speaking. During Surgery, we will help to restore their cleft lip and palate and help them function like normal.
Myth 2: They Cause Learning Disabilities
Although a cleft palate or cleft lip can cause things like a speech impediment for some children, they do not cause learning disabilities. In fact, there is no scientific association between this birth defect and learning disabilities.
Myth 3: It Always Leaves a Big Scar
Depending on the severity of your child’s cleft lip will help dictate just how much scarring they may have. In many instances, your child’s surgical scar will drastically fade after a few years and may even go almost entirely away as they reach their teenage years or adulthood.
Being a parent is difficult, but finding out that your unborn baby has a birth defect like a cleft lip or palate can feel devastating. Our surgeons have years of experience and expertise to help surgically correct this issue and help your child live a healthy life.