Cleft lips are congenital in nature meaning inherited by birth. It refers to the condition of opening of lip or lips into the roof of the mouth due to incomplete development. One out of every 1000 babies have cleft lips and this condition is considered to be one of the major birth defects. However cleft lip can be treated easily with minor surgery done to the child. The main reason for the formation of cleft lip is due to impartial closure of lips during the first trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes the cleft lip may extend up to the corner of the lips or even till the nose. Cleft lip varies in size and may occur in combination with cleft palate.
The condition of cleft lip can be categorized into three types. One is the cleft lip formation without cleft palate, second is cleft palate condition without cleft lip and thirdly cleft lip and palate occurring together. It can occur on any corner of the mouth left or right and is more common among boys than girl babies. Similarly the occurrence of cleft palate is prominent among girl child.
Though the formation of cleft lip or palate can be detected while the mother is pregnant, still nothing can be done until the child is born. The exact reason for the occurrence of cleft lip is not known. But it is genetic in nature and hence cleft lip and palate is formed due to gene mutation during the formation of zygote. It may also be caused due to virus infection or intake of strong drugs during pregnancy.
Cleft lip can be corrected easily by surgery and usually the corrective surgery is done below one year.
Pictures of Cleft lip :