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Q. Does my 2. 6 months old daughter need surgery for a small gap in the soft palate?

Answered by
Dr. Mehak Agarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 16, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jul 23, 2021

Hi doctor,

My 2.6 months old daughter was born with a soft cleft palate and was operated when she was 2 years old. After the surgery, her speech has improved, and no solid food or water is coming out from her nose anymore. Rarely, just a single drop of milk comes out of her nose.

Recently, I noticed a small gap at the end of the soft palate on the left side. We do not remember whether this was already present or got formed after the surgery. Even though the gap is tiny, I am anxious that my daughter might need surgery again. Why is this small gap still seen? Does she need surgery again? I am not able to click a photo of her mouth, but I am attaching a picture from the internet that I modified. In the image, the white colored part is where she has a small gap.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

After going through the photo (attachment removed to protect patient identity), this is what I suggest.

  • Physical examination of your daughter by a doctor is crucial, as the closure of a gap depends on the exact location of it.
  • If the gap is on the soft palate, then it can be sutured. But if it is on the hard palate, then some bone graft may be required, that varies from surgeon to surgeon and can be decided only after examination.
  • But, yes, the closure of gap is a must as it cannot heal on its own.

For further queries consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

Hi doctor,

Thank you for replying. Do you mean to say that the surgeon will examine my daughter and then decide on whether to operate or leave the gap as it is?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • What I meant was the gap has to be repaired, no matter if she is having any problem or not.
  • Sometimes a small gap is left behind after a complete cleft palate surgery, so it needs a small procedure to repair it.
  • Do not get anxious as soft palate gap is very easy to repair.

For further queries consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist


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