Cleft lip and palate surgery in Kumasi, Ghana: 2001-2005.J Craniofac Surg. 2007 Nov; 18(6):1376-9.JC
A retrospective review of cleft lip operations at our hospital during 1991-2000 showed that on average 17 patients per year were operated on for cleft lip and palate and that each year saw an increasing number of patients being treated. The purpose of this study was to determine the change that had occurred in the number of patients treated for cleft lip and palate during the five-year period from 2001-2005.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
This is a retrospective review of cleft lip and palate operations carried out under general anesthesia at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Operating room records were the source of data. Patients treated under local anesthesia were excluded. Information collected included age, gender, and diagnosis. The results were displayed in tables and graphs.
A total of 344 patients were operated for cleft lip and palate during the five-year period, i.e. 69 operations per year. The patients comprised 58% males and 42% females and ranged in age from 1 month to 32 years with a mean age of 3.9 years. Unilateral cleft lip operations constituted 78% of all operations. Each succeeding year saw an increase in the number of operations being carried out year during the five-year period.
The marked increase in the number of cleft operations per year in our hospital during the period under study was probably due to greater awareness in the community; free surgeries provided by local surgeons with financial support from a US-based NGO; and free operations by a visiting surgical team. Financial, logistical and training support to cleft teams in developing countries is likely to lead to more surgeries for children with cleft.