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  • Cleft Lip Repair

    Approximately 1 in 2,000 children born in the United States are born with a cleft lip.   A cleft lip with or without a cleft palate is a congenital deformity (birth defect). We call it a “deformity” and not a “defect” because there is nothing missing, but rather the structures are not in their correct location. A cleft lip repair involves putting the displaced structures into their correct positions.

    At birth, we need to make sure the baby is able to feed without difficulty. We also need to evaluate the child for any other abnormalities.

    Around 3 months of age a primary cleft lip and nasal repair is performed.

    Around 9-12 months of age, the cleft palate is repaired and ear tubes are placed.

    When the permanent teeth begin to erupt, the alveolar cleft is treated with bone grafting from the hip.

    Finally, after skeletal development is complete, orthognathic surgery may be needed to correct any deficiency in midface (upper jaw) development.

    Finally, a rhinoplasty (nose job) is performed to correct any residual nasal deformities.

    Dr. Brown works with the multidisciplinary craniofacial team at Sacred Heart Hospital to make sure all of the child’s needs are met.







    “Primary cleft lip and nasal repair is arguably the most beautiful operation in all of plastic surgery and the result of the operation is a dramatic and lasting improvement of a child’s life. There is nothing I can do in this life where I can make such a big difference for someone in such a short amount of time.”
     Dr. Ben Brown, Plastic Surgeon


    American patients and healthcare providers, myself included, often take for granted the power of modern medicine and surgery. Going on a medical mission is revitalizing because I get to experience taking care of patients in an unadulterated environment. In this pure environment, I am reminded how powerful my plastic surgery training is and the problems I can solve. It reminds me of the incredible good I can do as a plastic surgeon at both at home and abroad.
     Dr. Ben Brown, Plastic Surgeon



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