The first thing we would like to say about Cleft Palate treatment is: You've come to the right place! We love all our patients, but we have a special place inour hearts for our Cleft Palate babies and their families. Dr. Pocock and his team will help you and support you through this new experience. Soon, you will be able to share your success story with other new parents with cleft babies. It's a wonderful, caring community.
Through our commitment to continual education and harnessing every possible advantage for positive outcomes, we apply a technique known as Pre-surgical Orthopedics for Neonatal Cleft Lip and Palate. It’s a technical sounding title for a procedure that prepares your baby’s mouth and facial structures for the absolute best surgical results. Naturally high levels of estrogen in your baby’s bloodstream (until three months old), allow for the movement and molding of cartilage and facial structures to simplify surgical procedures and enhance the overall outcomes. Once your baby is past this stage the cartilage becomes "set" in shape. Therefore, if these cartilages are allowed to set in a deformed shape it will be more difficult to reshape them surgically when older.
Within this early 3-month window, it is also possible to re-position the tooth-bearing parts of the jaws. This helps with the shape of the face in the upper lip area and reduces the tissue strain when the surgeon closes the lip. The appliances used for these procedures also help with feeding. Your baby will not yet be able to create a fully sealed suction, but they will be able to squeeze a nipple between the gum pads and the appliance allowing your Baby to feed without you squeezing the bottle. This all helps to put on weight, which is vitally important and allows surgery to proceed on time.
Our list of Frequently Asked Questions has been built over the almost three decades that Dr. Pocock has been delivering these services. Please read through and feel free to ask for clarification on anything you wish, as our goal is to educate parents on the full spectrum of this important service.