lunes, 16 de abril de 2012

Surgical First! Fixing a Baby's Face | Medical News and Health Information

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Surgical First! Fixing a Baby's Face | Medical News and Health Information

Surgical First! Fixing a Baby's Face -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: Oro-facial clefts are birth defects where the mouth, or roof of the mouth, does not form properly while in the womb. A cleft is a separation in a body structure, often resulting from the failure of tissues to grow together properly. Oral facial clefts may involve the lip, the roof of the mouth (hard palate) or the soft tissue in the back of the mouth (soft palate). Oro-facial clefts are one of the most common birth defects in the United States occurring in 1 of 750 births. (Source:,

SYMPTOMS: The major symptom of a cleft lip or cleft palate is a visible opening in the lip or palate. Other symptoms include: feeding problems (especially with cleft palate), problems with speech development, dental problems, including missing teeth, especially when cleft lip extends to the upper gum area, recurrent Otitis Media, and hearing problems. A doctor can diagnose cleft lip or cleft palate by examining a newborn baby. A newborn with an oral-facial cleft may be referred to a team of medical specialists almost immediately after birth. Rarely, a partial or “submucous” cleft palate may be left undiagnosed for several months or even years. (Source:

CAUSES: The lip and palate develop separately, but both form very early in fetal development.  Oral facial clefts occur 5 to 9 weeks after conception if tissues in the developing mouth fail to merge together and fully fuse. The cause of oral facial clefts is thought to be caused from several reasons including genes as well as environmental factors.  Oral facial clefts are often associated with other birth defects as part of a syndrome. More than 200 syndromes are associated with orofacial clefts including Stickler’s syndrome, 22q11 deletion syndrome, Van der Woude syndrome. Often syndromes associated with oral facial clefts have a recognized chromosomal or genetic cause. (Source:

TREATMENTS: Due to the many variations in clefts, there is no specific cure or treatment for the cleft repair. However one plastic surgeon is setting the bar in facial cleft repair. Plastic surgeon Brian Pan of Shriners Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati is helping children with facial clefts. Since doctors do not have a solution’s manual for this type of birth defect, Dr. Pan uses his experience for coming up with a solution for repairing clefts.
“There’s no cookie cutter way of dealing with each patient and you have to do it truly on an individualized basis. Each operation is tailored for the patient,” Dr. Pan explained. (Source:, interview with Ivanhoe Broadcast News) MORE
Surgical First! Fixing a Baby's Face -- Research Summary | Medical News and Health Information 

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Surgical First! Fixing a Baby's Face -- In Depth Doctor's Interview | Medical News and Health Information

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