What is it?

Cleft lip is an opening or a split in the upper lip, a cleft palate is an opening or a split in the roor of the mouth, sometimes these conditions occur together. Cleft lip or palate result from a developmental malformation, it happens when the tissues are not fused properly. and they are common birth defects. Typically, it will be an isolated finding, but these defects can also appear as a part of a syndrome or a genetic condition. Risk factors for cleft palate or lip are family history, maternal exposure to cigarette, alcohol or certain medications during pregnancy, maternal diabetes and obesity. Treatment for these defects is surgical, and if left untreated, complications in feeding, hearing and speaking may occur.

53 Alikes with Cleft Palate & Cleft Lip

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Cleft Palate & Cleft Lip.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Unilateral Cleft Palate
- Complete cleft palate
- Bilateral Cleft Lip
- Complete cleft lip
- Unilateral Cleft Lip
- Complete cleft lip
- Bilateral Cleft Palate
- Complete cleft palate

Signs & symptoms

Other than the appearance of gaps either in the lip or the roof of the mouth, other symptoms may be present. Symptoms may include difficulty feeding, either by breastfeeding or by bottle and difficulty swallowing. hearing problems caused by ear infections or glue ear, dental problems, speech problems- unclear or nasal-sounding speech.


Diagnosis is easily done by looking at the baby right after birth. Prenatally, cleft lip or palate can be detected in ultrasound exams, from the 13th week to pregnancy. If a cleft is seen, genetic tests will be suggested by amniocentesis, to rule out a genetic problem or a syndrome.


Treatment for a cleft lip or cleft palate is surgical. Cleft lip repair is recommended usually within the first 3-6 months of age. Cleft palate repair is recommended usually by the age of 12 months. If needed, follow-up surgeries are performed after the child is 2 years old. Ear tube surgery may also be suggested to reduce the risk for chronic ear fluids.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free