Trust the safety and health of your child to specialists in the surgical treatment of cleft lip and palate

As specialists in diagnosing and treating conditions of the oral cavity (mouth) and maxillofacial region (jaws and face), Dr. Bryan McLelland,  and Dr. Brenen Olsen are adept at resolving a common, disfiguring congenital defect: cleft lip and palate

Surgery by 12 months and 18 months of age for lip and palate, respectively, may be necessary to avoid life-altering complications, including: 

  • Nutritional deficiencies due to feeding challenges
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Impaired hearing
  • Abnormal teeth development
  • Speech impediments
  • Emotional stress due to poor self-image

Fortunately, Liberty Oral & Facial Surgery in Spokane Valley, Washington, and Post Falls, Idaho, can precisely close the gaps or spaces in the upper lips or palate. In doing so, our surgical techniques improve a child’s appearance and the healthy function — breathing, eating, and speech – that supports quality of life and wellbeing.

Surgical techniques 

The specific techniques used to treat cleft lip or cleft palate vary considerably from child to child. Our specialists account for factors such as the size of the cleft or other irregularities when developing treatment plans. Advanced technologies further support our ability to understand any anatomical features or challenges present or to precisely, effectively, and efficiently resolve specific deviations from healthy development. 

Individuals with clefts will likely undergo several surgeries before 18 to repair defects and treat related conditions. Treatments may include follow-up surgeries starting at around two and continuing through the teen years. 

Initial surgery may involve removing tissue from the palate and relocating it to the cleft. In doing so, the gap is closed. Flaps may be created on both sides of the cleft to rebuild lip appearance, structure, and function or to build the structure of the palate or roof of the mouth. Tissues and muscles may be repositioned, and incisions are closed. Depending on your child’s needs, additional procedures may be necessary to address related conditions and prevent complications. These include treatment of the tubes in the eardrum to address recurrent infections and reconstructive surgeries to the nose and jaws.

Regardless of your child’s specific needs, they are in great hands with our surgeons at Liberty Oral & Facial Surgery. What we do now makes a transformative difference in your child’s health and overall wellbeing for life. Schedule an appointment at our Post Falls office at (208) 264-4665 or at our Spokane Valley location by calling (509) 822-2774.