Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Steps Involved in IVF:

Procedure Description

Cleft lip and palate are congenital anomalies, meaning they are present at birth. A cleft lip is a physical separation or gap in the upper lip, and a cleft palate is a similar separation in the roof of the mouth. These conditions can occur independently or together and can affect one or both sides of the mouth. These deformities occur early in pregnancy and can cause a range of problems including difficulty with feeding, speech issues, and social stigma. The good news is that cleft lip and palate repair procedures can offer a solution to these problems.

The procedures aim to close the gap in the lip and/or palate, restore the natural function and appearance, and help the child or adult lead a normal life. Surgeons usually repair a cleft lip when the child is about 3 to 6 months old and a cleft palate around 9 to 18 months, though the exact timing may vary based on individual needs. The process may require multiple surgeries and ongoing treatments, including speech therapy and dental care. Overall, the aim is to enhance the quality of life for the patient through medical intervention.

Cleft lip and palate repair is typically performed by plastic surgeons or maxillofacial surgeons specialized in treating congenital anomalies. In essence, the procedures involve making incisions on either side of the cleft and then drawing together the tissue to close the gap. For cleft palate repair, the surgeon will reposition the muscle and the tissue to close the opening in the roof of the mouth. These are intricate procedures that require a high level of surgical skill to ensure both functional and aesthetic success.

Procedure Duration

The duration of cleft lip and palate repair procedures varies based on the severity of the condition and the exact surgical technique used. Generally speaking, a cleft lip repair may take about 1 to 2 hours, while a cleft palate repair can take between 2 to 3 hours. Both procedures usually require general anesthesia, meaning the patient will be unconscious during the operation.

After the surgery, patients often need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days for observation and post-operative care. Full recovery may take several weeks, during which time the surgical site must be carefully monitored for any signs of infection or other complications. During this period, the patient may need to adhere to a special diet and take prescribed medications to manage pain and prevent infection.

It is essential to follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions carefully for a smooth recovery. Keep in mind that additional surgeries and treatments, such as speech therapy, may be needed over time, especially as the child grows. Therefore, the complete treatment journey for cleft lip and palate repair can extend over a period of years.


  • Cost-Effectiveness: Many countries offer cleft lip and palate repair procedures at a fraction of the cost in Western countries without compromising the quality of care.
  • Expertise: Some overseas medical facilities specialize in cleft repair surgeries and have highly experienced surgeons.
  • Advanced Technology: Top medical tourism destinations often feature state-of-the-art medical technology for diagnosis and treatment.

Potential Destinations

  • Thailand: Known for its excellent healthcare system and specialized surgeons.
  • India: Offers cost-effective treatment without compromising on the quality of care.
  • South Korea: Renowned for its advanced medical technology and highly skilled surgeons.

Risks & Considerations

  • Travel Concerns: Long flights post-surgery could increase the risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis.
  • Language Barrier: Communication difficulties can result in misunderstandings about treatment plans or post-operative care.
  • Quality Assurance: Make sure the hospital and doctor are accredited and have experience in cleft repair surgeries.

How to Choose the Right Doctor and Hospital

  • Check Credentials: Look for board-certified surgeons who specialize in cleft repair surgeries.
  • Research Hospital Reviews: Patient testimonials and ratings can provide insights into the quality of care.
  • Consult Multiple Sources: Reach out to local healthcare advisors or previous medical tourists for unbiased opinions.

To receive a free quote for this procedure please click on the link:

Patients are advised to seek hospitals that are accredited by Global Healthcare and only work with medical tourism facilitators who are certified by Global Healthcare Accreditation or who have undergone certification from the Certified Medical Travel Professionals (CMTP). This ensures that the highest standards in the industry are met. GHA accredits the top hospitals in the world. These are the best hospitals in the world for quality and providing the best patient experience. Click the link to check out hospitals accredited by the Global Healthcare Accreditation:

Frequently Asked Questions

What actually happens during hyperstimulation of the ovaries?

The patient will take injectable FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) for eight to eleven days, depending on how long the follicles take to mature. This hormone is produced naturally in a woman’s body causing one egg to develop per cycle. Taking the injectable FSH causes several follicles to develop at once, at approximately the same rate. The development is monitored with vaginal ultrasounds and following the patient’s levels of estradiol and progesterone. FSH brand names include Repronex, Follistim, Menopur, Gonal-F and Bravelle. The patient injects herself daily.

What happens during egg retrieval?

When the follicles have developed enough to be harvested, the patient attends an appointment  where she is anesthetized and prepared for the procedure. Next, the doctor uses an ultrasound probe to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicle of the ovary. The thin needle draws the follicle fluid, which is then examined by an embryologist to find the eggs. The whole process takes about 20 minutes.

What happens to the eggs?

In the next step, the harvested eggs are then fertilized. If the sperm from the potential father, or in some cases, anonymous donor, has normal functionality, the eggs and sperm are placed together in a dish with a nutrient fluid, then incubated overnight to fertilize normally. If the sperm functionality is suboptimal, an embryologist uses Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection to inject a single sperm into a single egg with an extremely precise glass needle.  Once fertilization is complete, the embryos are assessed and prepared to be transferred to the patient’s uterus.

How are the embryos transferred back to the uterus?

The doctor and the patient will discuss the number of embryos to be transferred. The number of successfully fertilized eggs usually determines the number of eggs to be placed in the uterus. Embryos are transferred to the uterus with transabdominal ultrasound guidance. This process does not require anesthesia, but it can cause minor cervical or uterine discomfort. Following transfer, the patient is advised to take at least one days bed rest and two or three additional days of rest, then 10 to 12 days later, two pregnancy tests are scheduled to confirm success. Once two positive tests are completed, an obstetrical ultrasound is ordered to show the sac, fetal pole, yolk sac and fetal heart rate.


Built into this technology there is a microscope with a powerful camera that allows the uninterrupted monitoring of the embryo during its first hours of life. In this way, we can keep a close eye on the embryo, from the moment when the oocyte is inseminated and begins to divide into smaller and smaller cells, until it can be transferred to the uterus.

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