What is Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate and their repair?

A craniofacial fellow at Boston’s Children’s Hospital before establishing her practice in Bozeman, Dr. Ridgway brings extensive experience to treating children who have a cleft lip. With Ridgway Plastic Surgery, parents in the region have a resource close to home.

The team at Ridgway Plastic Surgery will work with you to determine the best, most comfortable way to address your child’s health and future, listening to your concerns and devising a treatment that works for your child and your family.  We will be by your side throughout the process, from the first consultation through post-op, making sure your questions and concerns are answered.

Though cleft lip (cheiloschisis) and cleft palate (palatoschisis) are among the most common birth defects affecting children in North America, we recognize that your child’s condition is unique to them. We will develop a plan with you to both restore function and appearance through specialized plastic surgery techniques, improving your child's ability to eat, speak, hear, and breathe.

When should my child have the surgery?

While the timing of the cleft repairs depends on the individual circumstances of your child, early intervention is essential. Surgery is usually best performed when your child is generally healthy, gaining weight and thriving. Cleft lip repairs are initially performed when a child is at least ten weeks of age, ten pounds in weight, and has a hemoglobin (or blood count) of at least ten. Cleft palate repairs are generally performed when a child is somewhat older, from six to 18 months of age.

My experience working with some of the country’s top cleft lip surgeons places world-class expertise in your hands.
— Dr. Emily Ridgway