You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Palate vs. Lip Repair
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Palate vs. Lip Repair
Question: I'm interested in knowing what you all think about, which is the more difficult surgery the lip or the palate? Are the recovery times about the same?
Answer: I always thought the palate surgery was a bit harder on the kids. They had much more of a tendency to not want to eat then. They were older, so they were more likely to want to get up and move around (which is fine, by the way - just watch them more closely) and of course, by palate repair all three of mine were eating solids, so they were less happy with the liquid diet.
They do tend to hurt more (it just hurts more to move around boney tissues than soft tissues) but my kids STILL did fine on just Tylenol, and they were also completely off the pain meds in about 3 or 4 days. With the palate repair, we did not have to worry about bumping the lip, so we were about to cuddle them closer. (But then, Jacob had a lip revision with the palate repair, so he still had the lip stitches).
In terms of length and type of aftercare, in our case, we're talking identical process here -- arm restraints, Tylenol, liquid diet for two weeks. Go to Joey's page in the gallery. There is a pic of him in arm restraints and playing with balloons. He was one week post op for palate repair in that pic. The week prior to that, he was not feeling so hot, and the swelling that he had at first was gone by about 5 days or so, but by a week, he was my baby again and was content to play and do his best to find a way to get REAL food into his tummy. (none of this liquid crap!!) Mind you, Joey was older at the time of his palate repair than Riley will be.
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