Restoring Appearance and Function in Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Reconstruction

Facial plastic surgery provides a solution for patients seeking to change their appearance due to aesthetic reasons or to address anti-aging concerns. However, many patients also require facial reconstructive surgery to correct abnormalities that can cause functional challenges. Double board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology, Dr. Fernando Burstein operates on patients of all ages to resolve defects caused by congenital disorders or trauma. Often, multiple surgeries are required to fully restore functionality and aesthetics.

alpharetta adult cleft

One of the most common birth defects in pediatric and adult facial reconstruction is cleft lip and/or cleft palate. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 2,651 U.S. babies are born each year with a cleft palate and about 4,437 babies are born with a cleft lip. A cleft lip is a separation of the lip, which can sometimes include the gum and base of the nose that causes both functional and aesthetic concerns. Dr. Burstein reconstructs small tissues of the lip and nose to enclose the separation of the lip and to reconnect the nose. Often, the columella and nasal base are affected. Depending on the patient’s needs, reconstructive rhinoplasty may be performed to improve breathing and aesthetics.

A cleft palate is the separation of the soft palate located within the roof of the mouth. Both of these birth defects can have debilitating effects on a patient’s ability to eat, hear, speak, and breathe. While this surgery is often performed during infancy, other surgeries often follow the initial procedure to maintain results as the patient continues to grow and develop. To correct a cleft palate, Dr. Burstein reconstructs the roof of the mouth to restore function of the palate. While these defects are resolved with an initial procedure, additional surgeries may be required to address speech or maxillary problems that can develop as the patient grows.

For patients who have not yet undergone surgery or for those who require further treatments, adult cleft lip and palate reconstruction can fix late cleft deformities such as misaligned jaws or teeth, speech problems, and asymmetrical lip and nose appearance. Cleft lip and cleft palate reconstruction can be performed regardless of the patient’s age. Dr. Burstein maintains a relationship with cleft surgery patients to ensure their aesthetic and reconstructive results remain consistent throughout their life.

If you are interested in learning more about reconstructive procedures, or the variety of cosmetic procedures Dr. Burstein offers, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.