Cleft repair surgery risks and safety information


The decision to have cleft surgery is extremely personal and your plastic surgeon will explain the benefits, goals and potential risks or complications. Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure, the alternatives and the most likely risks or potential complications.

Some of the risks include:
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Irregular healing of scars including contracture (puckering or pulling together of tissues)
  • Residual irregularities and asymmetries
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents
  • Damage to deeper structures — such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs — can occur and may be temporary or permanent
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

Be sure to ask questions: It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes for your child or preoperative stress. Please discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.