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The operation(s) that your child will have will depend on what kind of cleft they were born with (see what is a cleft lip and / or palate?).

Your clinical nurse specialist will be able to advise you and will play a vital role in preparing you and your child for any operations they might need.

Before any operations, you will be invited to meet one of our surgeons (see Oxford surgeons or Salisbury surgeons).

As your child gets older, they may meet other members of our team. This will depend on the surgery required.

Surgery for your baby

Speech surgery / secondary surgery

Sometimes it becomes apparent that children need further surgery when they begin to develop speech. We refer to this as “speech surgery” or sometimes as “secondary surgery”.

Often it will be a speech and language therapist who discusses this with you and you will be invited to a palatal investigation clinic to confirm whether speech surgery is necessary (see Oxford Palatal Investigation clinic or Salisbury Palatal Investigation clinic) .

Speech surgery includes the following operations:

Surgery for older children

Sometimes your child will need further operations, such as:

We will always discuss why this is needed with you.

Surgery for 16+

Orthognathic (jaw) surgery