Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip (cont.)
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Cleft lip and cleft palate facts
- What is a cleft lip? What is a cleft palate?
- How often do cleft lip and cleft palate occur?
- What are the causes and risk factors for developing a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- How do physicians diagnose a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What are complications of a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What is the treatment for a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What is the prognosis for a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- Is it possible to prevent a cleft lip or cleft palate?
- Find a local Plastic Surgeon in your town
Is it possible to prevent a cleft lip or cleft palate?
The large majority of infants experiencing cleft lip or cleft palate do not have a genetic predisposition or obvious risk factors. During pregnancy, there are issues that may increase the likelihood of producing a newborn with cleft lip and/or cleft palate. These may include the following:
- Certain medications to help prevent maternal seizures or migraine headaches (for example, topiramate [Topamax])
- Certain medications that are used as cancer chemotherapy (including methotrexate [Rheumatrex, Trexall])
- Smoking cigarettes (no information yet regarding e-cigarettes)
- Alcohol consumption
- Lack of folic acid supplementation prior to conception and throughout the pregnancy
Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics
Cleft Palate Foundation. <http://www.cleftline.org/parents-individuals/publications/support>
Jones, Kenneth Lyon. Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation, 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: WB Saunders Co., 1997.
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