After surgery, dressings or bandages may be placed on incisions outside your child’s mouth.
You will be given speciﬁc instructions that may include: How to care for the surgical site following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, speciﬁc concerns to look for in the general health of your child, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Your plastic surgeon or the attending staff will instruct you on feeding your child and as well as any restrictions or special activity instructions.
Don’t be surprised if you ﬁnd that arm restraints have been placed on your child in recovery. They will prevent him or her from injuring the surgical site as it heals. Restraints may be removed several times as day, so long as your child is supervised and prevented from touching the surgical site or sucking a thumb.
Your child’s discomfort can be controlled with pain medication. If necessary, sutures will be removed following surgery. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling resolves.
After surgery, diligent sun protection is essential to prevent the formation of irregular scars
Results and outlook
The outcome of your child’s initial cleft lip and/or cleft palate repair will make a vast difference in his or her quality of life, ability to breathe, eat and speak. However, secondary procedures may be needed for functional reasons or to reﬁne appearance. Even though the scars of a cleft lip repair are generally located within the normal contours of the face, they will always be visible.