It is fun to share the journey of a few patients, and though we love them all, a few just stand out. Here is the story of Choolwe.
The first child we saw in screening clinic on Sunday was this darling little girl. She is 3 1/2 months old, which is just about the perfect age for undergoing a cleft lip repair.
We did her surgery today, and here are two photos post op:
|In the recovery room, immediately post op|
|On the ward a few hours post op|
What a beautiful baby! Once her incisions heal and the absorbable sutures disappear, it will be hard to tell that there was ever a cleft. To make things easy for the patient and family, we use absorbable sutures and then cover the incision site with tissue glue. That way, the babies and children may breast feed, bottle feed or eat immediately upon waking up from surgery. Typically they go home the following day after cleft lip surgery, and two days post op from cleft palate surgery. The lip repair is done around 3 months of age if possible and the cleft palate is repaired between 12 and 18 months of age. Sometimes children have both congenital deformities and they have two procedures. Choolwe only has a cleft lip and it was not as severe as some. Once healed from this, she will likely not require further intervention.