Cleft lip and palate

Cleft lip and palate surgery at the University of Ottawa.

Cleft lip and cleft palate can occur alone or together.They are caused by abnormal facial development during gestation. The ‘cleft’ is a fissure, opening or gap that results from the non-fusion of the body’s natural structures that form before birth. This is quite common in North America, occurring as often as one in 700 births – fortunately it is readily treated. The surgical correction of cleft lip and palate at the University of Ottawa is led by the Division of Paediatric Plastic Surgery, based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The treatment involves staged surgical and medical interventions that involve a variety of disciplines, including dentistry, oral surgery, otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, audiologists, speech language pathologists and paediatricians.

All surgeons participate in the care of Children with a variety of facial differences. In addition, our surgeons often collaborate to provide care in the developing world to children who might not otherwise be treated.