A facial cleft is an opening or gap in the face, or a malformation of a part of the face. Facial clefts is a collective term for all sorts of clefts. All organs of the face like eyes, ears, nose & lip can be affected. All structures like bone, soft tissue, skin etc. can be affected. Facial clefts are extremely rare congenital anomalies. Facial clefts hardly ever occur isolated; most of the time there is an overlap of adjacent facial clefts One in every 918 births results in Facial Cleft Defects . Cleft defects develop very early in pregnancy. They result from an abnormality in the genes or chromosomes. The causes of clefts could be genetic, environmental or nutritionally derived
In most children born with Facial Cleft Defects, this is the only congenital abnormality. However, approximately 15% percent of all children with a cleft have multiple congenital abnormalities. 300 craniofacial (head and face) syndromes involve cleft lip and/or palate and/or face as part of the syndrome. Most of these syndromes have been identified and named. Proper and complete assessment of the child with a cleft is necessary to determine the presence of other abnormalities, to establish realistic expectations for treatment and to plan the best course of treatment.
Facial cleft can also present itself in the form of isolated form affecting only lip, ear or nose. in these conditions treatment plan includes surgical correction and rehabilitation of the patient. Depending on the defect surgery can be single staged or multiple staged depending upon the gravity of the clinical situation and patients age of reporting to us. Our approach to correct any defect of face follows Morpho-Functional approach i.e we not only restore the normal function of the organ but also correct cosmetically to the level of normalcy.