Cleft Lip & Palate Repair
Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects in North America. They are craniofacial abnormalities that occur when the sides of the lips or the roof of the mouth fail to fuse together when the child is developing in the womb. They may occur separately or together, with varying degrees of severity, involving either one or both sides of the face.
A child born with cleft lip or palate has an opening in the lip or the roof of the mouth. This can affect the baby’s feeding and speech development and of course, their appearance. Special bottles and feeding techniques are needed to help the child thrive and grow. Most children with cleft lip or palate have surgery to repair the condition during the first year of life.
Dr. Christopher C. Chang is a highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeon, serving the Washington, D.C. area and specializing in the face. Among other impressive credentials from Harvard, Yale, and NYU School of Medicine, he completed a fellowship in advanced craniofacial surgery for children and adults at Johns Hopkins Hospital/University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. If your child needs cleft lip or palate repair, there isn't a better name in cleft lip repair Washington D.C. has than Dr. Christopher Chang to perform the procedure with the most up to date techniques and proficiency.
What Causes Cleft Lip and Palate?
A cleft in the upper lip or the roof of the mouth occurs very early in the child’s development – within the first trimester of pregnancy. Certain components of the palate and upper lip may fail to develop normally. The tissues that the lips and palate are made of normally fuse together during the second or third month of gestation. In babies with cleft lip or palate, the fusion occurs only partially or not at all.
Studies indicate that most cleft lip and palate birth defects are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, however, there is no definite known cause. Additionally, unless there is a strong history of prior clefting in your family, the incidence of repeat children with clefts is quite low.
How is cleft lip & palate repair procedure performed?
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. To repair a cleft lip, incisions are made on both sides of the cleft to create tissue flaps. The flaps are then drawn together and sutured to close the cleft. Detailed and precise measurements are made to ensure the most cosmetic and functional repair as possible.
Cleft palate repair involves closing the cleft and rebuilding the palate by carefully repositioning muscles and tissue. Incisions are made on either side of the cleft and special flap techniques are used. The repair is stitched together in the middle of the roof of the mouth, providing enough palate length for speech development, normal feeding, and continued growth.
Cleft lip repair Washington, D.C.
If your child needs cleft lip or palate repair, you want a highly-qualified and experienced surgeon to perform the procedure. Dr. Christopher C. Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive training and experience specifically in craniofacial surgery for children and adults.
As your child grows, he or she may need secondary procedures to improve appearance and function. Dr. Chang takes a comprehensive approach to patient care, focusing on the entire treatment plan from infancy to adulthood, as well as minimizing the appearance of facial scarring.
You need a surgeon you can trust for your child’s cleft lip or palate repair and continued treatment through adolescence. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Chang. He will explain the repair procedure, treatment timeline, and answer any questions you may have.
"I have never felt so confident. Dr. Chang completely changed how I saw myself in the mirror. I was terribly self conscious of my nose from my youth and finally decided to go through with the surgery. Not only was it inexpensive compared to the other three doctors I contacted, the before and after pictures of patients were also much better looking than the others! The whole process of surgery and recovery was quick and pretty much painless. I would definitely recommend him to anyone wanting cosmetic surgery. It really made me a happier person." - Catherine M.
"My son was in a terrible accident with most of the bones in his face and skull broken... I don't know what I would have done without Dr Chang!! My son is fully recovered and back to his old self again. I love Dr Chang, he will be in my prayers for the rest of my life. Thank you!" - Elizabeth A.
"I cannot say enough about my surgery with Dr. Chang! I had full facial Rejuvenation including a facelift brow lift and upper eyelids done 4 months ago. I also had a chemical peel to my lower eyelids and mouth. They was barely any pain and I was back to work the next week! I am so thrilled and my friends are so impressed. I cannot say enough about my experience! He is both caring and an amazing surgeon! Thank you so much!" - Cathy W.
The entire experience and outcome was everything I hoped for and I cannot thank Dr. Chang enough! He is a true pro and I recommend 100% without reservation!" - Ashley R.
"I went to Dr. Chang to correct the damage done to my breasts from pregnancy and breastfeeding. He went above and beyond to make me comfortable and to explain exactly what the procedures (lift + implants) would entail. He was extremely responsive and truly understood the look that I was trying to achieve - full, natural for my frame, and with minimal scarring. I'm only two days out from surgery and I'm already loving my results. I am so glad that I chose Dr. Chang to restore my chest to its pre-baby appearance. I actually think they are going to be better than they ever were before I had kids!" - Emily L.