Audit of a multidisciplinary approach to the care of children with unilateral and bilateral cleft lip and palate.Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2001 Jun; 39(3):182-8.BJ
Cleft lip and palate affects the child in many ways, particularly appearance, dental arch relationships, growth of the face, and speech development. The key to successful care is management in a multidisciplinary team adhering to a well-designed protocol, and careful audit of results. We present the intermediate outcome audit of 15 patients with complete bilateral and unilateral cleft lip and palate whose condition was managed in a multidisciplinary team according to a strict protocol. We give the results observations of operations of a single surgeon's functional primary surgery over a 6-year period in terms of dental arch relationships, cephalometric analyses, aesthetic assessments, and speech analysis. The results show good early facial growth, with dental arch relationships appropriate for the age and group; we found only minor speech discrepancies, with no patients requiring pharyngoplasty. The results show the importance of multidisciplinary management, the value of keeping to sound surgical protocols, and functional techniques in cleft lip and palate surgery. Our study includes the neglected group of children who have bilateral cleft lip and palate, and it conforms to the style of pan-European projects.