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Is surgery for cleft palate in children safe?

Q: My daughter born last year is having the problem of cleft palate. She is unable to suck mothers milk right from birth. Spoon feeding has been given to her. Instead of the mother's milk, she is taking lactogen and cerelac. Is it advisable to go for an operation? Whom should we go to - a paediatric surgeon or a plastic surgeon? Now she is 6.8 kg. Please suggest the diet plan for the baby and the appropriate time of operation? Will there be any harm to baby if operation is not done? Is there any risk involved in the operation? Please advise medicines for the baby for better growth.

A:Let me take one question at a time: 1. Your baby is now about 6 months of age and she is weighing 6.8 kg which is quite good. This means that you are able to meet the nutritional needs. Keep it up. 2. It does not matter, paediatric surgeon or plastic surgeon. You must go to the surgeon who has done such cases before with good results. 3. The operation should be done between age of 10-12 months. 4. Not having the operation is no option. It must be done. 5. If done at a good centre, and in good hands, there are no major risks.

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