The management of patients with orofacial cleft (OFC) often extends from diagnosis or birth well into adulthood and requires many different specialists within multidisciplinary teams (MDT). The aims of treatment are to restore form and function relating to hearing, speech, occlusion and facial aesthetics. People with OFCs that include the lip, alveolus and palate (cleft lip and palate (CLP)) require several different staged and coordinated surgical and non-surgical interventions, and the treatment pathway is associated with a heavy burden of care. Due to the extensive nature of the interaction with these patients, MDT members have opportunities to provide enhanced patient-centred care and support. This case report provides an overview of the current knowledge of the aetiology of OFC and the management of these patients. It provides a unique perspective from one of the coauthors who has a unilateral CLP (UCLP) and reports on his treatment experiences and long-term treatment outcomes. By having a better understanding of the impact of UCLP and treatment provided, MDT members can not only provide improved clinical treatment but also offer improved patient experiences for those with craniofacial anomalies, in particular, an increased awareness of the psychosocial challenges, they endure throughout their treatment pathway and beyond.
- congenital disorders
- oral and maxillofacial surgery
- plastic and reconstructive surgery
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Contributors PF was responsible for the conception, design, draft, revision and final approval of the submitted manuscript. KA was responsible for the design, acquisition of data, drafting, revisions and final approval of the submitted manuscript. JH was responsible for the drafting and critical revisions. LS was responsible for design, draft, acquisition of data, critical revisions and final approval of the submitted manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.