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- Cleft lip and cleft palate facts
- What is a cleft lip? What is a cleft palate?
- How often do cleft lip and cleft palate occur?
- What are the causes and risk factors for developing a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- How do physicians diagnose a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What are complications of a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What is the treatment for a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What is the prognosis for a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- Is it possible to prevent a cleft lip or cleft palate?
Is it possible to prevent a cleft lip or cleft palate?
The large majority of infants experiencing cleft lip or cleft palate do not have a genetic predisposition or obvious risk factors. During pregnancy, there are issues that may increase the likelihood of producing a newborn with cleft lip and/or cleft palate. These may include the following:
- Certain medications to help prevent maternal seizures or migraine headaches (for example, topiramate [Topamax])
- Certain medications that are used as cancer chemotherapy (including methotrexate [Rheumatrex, Trexall])
- Smoking cigarettes (no information yet regarding e-cigarettes)
- Alcohol consumption
- Lack of folic acid supplementation prior to conception and throughout the pregnancy
Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics
Cleft Palate Foundation. <http://www.cleftline.org/parents-individuals/publications/support>
Jones, Kenneth Lyon. Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation, 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: WB Saunders Co., 1997.