Cleft Lip & Palate Surgery
Approximately 1 in 700 new babies are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.
What is a cleft lip?
Approximately 1 in 700 new babies are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. In the United Kingdom, patients with cleft lip and palate are only managed in specialist centres.
Mr Chummun is currently the only plastic surgeon in the South West of England who is also a cleft surgeon.
It is estimated that half of patients with a cleft palate or cleft lip and palate will have some speeches difficulties and that approximately 20% will require further surgery. These patients are usually assessed by Mr Chummun and a cleft speech and language therapist, before the appropriate management plan is formulated.
Because of the abnormal pull of the lip muscles on the nose, patients with cleft lip or cleft lip and palate tend to have a deviated septum, abnormally positioned cartilages in the tip of the nose and a bent nose.
A cleft septorhinoplasty is a form of rhinoplasty - a procedure which is performed to enhance the appearance and function of the nose. It is used for those who have nasal obstructions and is able to improve the appearance of the nose, as well as remove internal obstructions which are blocking breathing.
The procedure is typically performed under a general anaesthetic and takes between two and three hours. The surgeon makes an incision at the base of the columella and in the mucosa, which is the lining inside the nose. The cartilage and septum of the nose are then exposed, which allows the surgeon to perform the necessary corrections to straighten the nose and septum. The surgeon is also able to make cosmetic changes to the nose - such as refining the tip or shaving down a hump - during the procedure. Rhinoplasty in patients with a cleft lip or cleft lip and palate is a complex procedure, and in the UK, is generally only performed by cleft surgeons, such as Mr Chummun.
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