Clefts of the lip and palate are the most common craniofacial (head and face) malformations, and comprise 65 % of all anomalies affecting the head and neck. There are two useful distinct types of cleft anomaly, cleft lip with or without cleft palate, and isolated cleft palate. There is a difference in the pathogenesis (development of the condition) of the two anomalies.
As a parent whose child has a cleft, or possibly an adult with a treated or partially treated cleft of the lip and palate we hope to provide some information which will guide you through a number of choices you will have to make.
Much of this information should complement the information provided by your neonatal service which will (certainly in the UK) have already put you in touch with your regional cleft lip and palate service, often by way of a specialist nurse. The UK national association is called CLAPA (Cleft Lip and Palate Association).
Next section: Cleft lip/palate