“I am a specialist surgeon who has trained to manage the care of people born with cleft lip and or palate from when they are babies all the way through their treatment journey into adulthood. I perform operations to help optimise form and function in the face.”
Cleft Surgeons in the United Kingdom tend to be trained in one of three parent surgical specialties: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery or Ear Nose and Throat Surgery. Whichever training route they have taken, a Cleft Surgeon will then have chosen to focus and specialise in a career in cleft surgery.
Depending on the type of cleft a patient has, there will often be planned operations at predictable time points during the child’s development. These include operations to reconstruct clefts of the lip, palate and alveolar ridge.
There may also be additional operations that may be required, and these will be offered and explained based on the specific needs of the patient. These additional operations include speech surgery, fistula repair, orthognathic surgery, revisional surgery and septo-rhinoplasty. Cleft Surgeons will regularly review patients as they grow and develop so that they can advise about the most appropriate operations and offer them at optimal time points for each individual patient.
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