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Secondary Cleft Revisions

Cleft lip and palate repair are generally treated during early childhood. However, the process of full repair is often ongoing for several years. Care teams make every effort to complete the cleft repair by the time a child is in their late teens. However, some patients need further treatment or, in many cases, want revisions to further improve appearance.

As time has passed, new approaches to managing clefts have been developed. This allows plastic surgeons and other medical professionals to help patients feel as confident as they can.

What is a Secondary Cleft Revision?

Like children and teens with clefts, adults are often somewhat self-conscious about their lip and nose, the shape of their face, and their ability to speak clearly. Although the scar that formed after the initial repair is permanent, the quality and visibility of the scar may be improved. Secondary cleft revision surgery may also improve the shape of the lip, nose, and the nasal passages.

Am I A Candidate for A Secondary Cleft Revision?

If you have a cleft lip, you may have undergone several procedures to reconstruct facial bones and restore a normal appearance to the face. The procedures performed during childhood may have closed wide gaps in the palate and rejoined the tissue of the upper lip to assist with eating, speaking, and dental development. However, you may be left with some degree of abnormality.

Our reconstructive experience enables us to perform secondary cleft revision utilizing the most current surgical techniques. To determine if you are a good candidate for treatment, we will conduct a thorough examination of your medical history and evaluate the appearance of your lip and nose. Your aesthetic concerns will be discussed and our recommendations for how to correct them will be explained.

How is the Secondary Cleft Revision Procedure Performed?

Surgery to revise the cleft lip is planned around your unique needs. Our approach is customized depending on the problem that has been identified in the lip. Some people need only minor scar revision, while others have a more complex deformity that requires deconstruction and reconstruction of the lip.

Sometimes, augmentation of the lip is needed to create better symmetry. The details of your procedure will be outlined for you after our initial visit and examination of your lip.

How Long Is Recovery After a Secondary Cleft Revision?

Recovery from secondary cleft revision is similar to previous experiences for most people. After your procedure, you can expect to feel sore. Some type of surgical dressing may also be applied. Comfort may be maintained with prescription pain medication and adherence to the provided aftercare instructions.

Often, swelling and comfort have improved to such an extent that patients can return to normal activities within two weeks of their revision procedure. A follow up may be scheduled 7 to 10 after surgery. As the swelling continues to subside, the results of the revision improve.

Is Secondary Cleft Revision Surgery Safe?

Cleft revision surgery is as safe as the reconstructive procedures that have come before it, if not more so. Patients are treated only after a thorough consultation, examination, and review of their medical history. Strict guidelines for surgical safety are followed during the procedure and patients are monitored the entire time they are anesthetized.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects to Secondary Cleft Revision?

Surgical procedures carry inherent risks such as bleeding and infection. The more complex the procedure, the more risks there may be for complications such as asymmetry, poor wound healing, and nerve damage.

After secondary cleft revision, patients are typically able to brush their teeth. Salt-water rinses can also be performed several times a day. Antibiotics may be prescribed to inhibit infection. Bacitracin ointment may be prescribed to apply topically several times a day. This, too, is intended to prevent infection.

Are There Side Effects to Secondary Cleft Revision Surgery?

The side effects that occur after cleft revision will depend on the extent of the procedure. These typically include bruising and swelling. In most cases, these fade away within two weeks.

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Schedule Your Cleft Revision Surgery Today!

Our internationally recognized facial reconstruction experts can help you look and feel your best. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation at 512-688-8000. Austin Cosmetic Surgery serves patients in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and surrounding areas in Texas.

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