If your child was one of the 700 children that are born every day with a cleft lip, and you are worried about getting it surgically repaired, it's all about finding the right surgeon. Finding the right surgeon to do the work, and that you feel comfortable with, can play a big role in the process.
If your pediatrician has suggested that you see a specialist and a pediatric plastic surgeon to do the work to have the cleft corrected, you want a surgeon that does this regularly. Here are some of the things to go over with the surgeon before making a choice on a medical professional.
Find a Pediatric Specialist
You want to find a pediatric specialist that does plastic surgery specifically on pediatric patients as their main patient base, and that has done many cleft lip surgeries. A surgeon that is familiar with this condition and the surgical requirements needed to treat them will have the best ideas for how to correct the problem the easiest, how to make it look the most natural after it's done, and what to do if something goes unexpectedly with the tissue or lip during the surgery.
The pediatric plastic surgeon is also familiar with the issues that can arise when a young child or infant is under anesthesia. Their bodies can be more sensitive, and have complications that need different emergency reactions and treatments than adults.
Talk About Your Child's Care Plan
If your child has a care plan because of the difficulties that they have encountered with the cleft lip, you want to talk about these with the surgeon. If there are problems with eating, drinking, with colic, and other concerns with sleeping or development could be a concern during surgery, these are issues you have to bring up before they go under. This helps the surgeon prepare properly to work on your child specifically.
See Patients and Talk with the Parents
Meet with past patients of the surgeon you want to use and talk with the parents. Look at the pictures of before and after surgeries that the surgeon has completed. This can give you some more confidence in the surgeons abilities, and you get some information on the surgeons bed side manner and personality and skills.
If you know that your infant will need cleft lip surgery but you are very worried about it, you want to find the right surgeon. Interview as many as you have to make sure it's the best fit.