facial cleft

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Related to facial cleft: oblique facial cleft


1. a fissure or longitudinal opening, especially one occurring during embryonic development.
2. having such a fissure.
branchial cleft
1. one of the slitlike openings in the gills of fish between the branchial arches.
facial cleft
1. any of the clefts between the embryonic prominences that normally unite to form the face.
2. failure of union of one of these embryonic clefts; depending on the site, this causes such developmental defects as cleft cheek, cleft mandible, or cleft lip. Called also prosoposchisis.
cleft lip (cleft palate) congenital fissure, or split, of the lip (cleft lip) or of the roof of the mouth (cleft palate); one or the other occurs in about one birth per thousand. Sometimes they are associated with clubfoot (talipes) or other anatomic defects. They have no connection with mental retardation. Although poor health of the mother during pregnancy may have some effect on the development of her child, the old superstition that psychologic experiences of the pregnant mother can cause cleft palate and cleft lip has no scientific basis. However, it is true that parents who were born with cleft palate or cleft lip are somewhat more likely than other parents to have children with these defects.

Cleft palate and cleft lip result from failure of the two sides of the face to unite properly at an early stage of prenatal development. The defect may be limited to the outer flesh of the upper lip (the term harelip, suggesting the lip of a rabbit, is both inaccurate and unkind), or it may extend back through the midline of the upper jaw through the roof of the palate. Sometimes only the soft palate, located at the rear of the mouth, is involved.

The infant with a cleft palate is unable to suckle properly, because the opening between mouth and nose through the palate prevents suction. Feeding must be done by other means, with a dropper, a cup, a spoon, or an obturator, a device inserted in the mouth to close the cleft while the baby is sucking. Cleft palate allows food to get into the nose, and it causes difficulty in chewing and swallowing. Later it will hinder speech, because consonants such as g, b, d, and f, which are normally formed by pressure against the roof of the mouth, are distorted by resonance in the nasal cavity. The cleft may also prevent movements of the soft palate essential in clear speech.
Treatment. Treatment of cleft palate and cleft lip is by surgery, followed by measures to improve speech. A cleft palate should be reconstructed by plastic surgery when the child is about 18 months old, before he learns to talk. The corrective work usually requires only one operation. After surgery, the child often needs special training in speech to facilitate communication and maintain self-esteem. Cleft lip usually can be corrected by surgery when the child reaches a weight of 12 to 15 lb (5.4 to 7 kg), generally at the age of 2 to 3 months. Successful surgery often leaves only a thin scar and a greatly improved ability to form the p, b, and m sounds. A child born with a moderate degree of cleft palate or cleft lip can look forward to a life normal in appearance, speech, and manner if proper action is taken early. This means consulting and carefully following the advice of competent specialists in medicine, surgery, dentistry, and speech.
Patient Care. The main concerns during the preoperative period are maintenance of adequate nutrition, prevention of respiratory infections, and speech therapy to prevent development of bad habits of speech. Postoperative care must be aimed at prevention of trauma to or infection of the operative site. The child is not allowed to lie prone until the incision is completely healed. Elbow restraints are used to keep the fingers and hands away from the mouth. The patient is usually fed with a special syringe with a rubber tip as long as only liquids are allowed. When a soft diet is prescribed, care must be taken that the spoon or other eating utensils do not damage the suture line. Mouth care is given frequently to keep the mouth clean and reduce the danger of infection. Dental caries often occurs in patients with cleft palate and regular visits to the dentist are needed. Tender loving care, always a part of pediatric care, is even more necessary when caring for these children. They must be reassured and kept quiet so that crying and restlessness do not undo the work done by the surgeon. (See Atlas 1, Part A.)
A, Severe and B, mild form of cleft lip/palate. From Mueller et al., 2001.

fa·cial cleft

a cleft resulting from incomplete merging or fusion of embryonic facial processes normally uniting in the formation of the face, for example, cleft lip or cleft palate.
Synonym(s): prosopoanoschisis

fa·cial cleft

(fāshăl kleft)
Fissure resulting from incomplete merging or fusion of embryonic facial processes normally uniting in the formation of the face, e.g., cleft lip or cleft palate.

facial cleft,


of or pertaining to the face.

facial abscess
see malar abscess.
facial cleft
very uncommon congenital defect of failure of closure at various facial sites, e.g. cleft from corner of mouth to ear on the same side.
facial dermatitis
see contagious porcine pyoderma.
facial eczema
hepatogenous photosensitization in sheep and cattle, by the ingestion of sporidesmin from the the fungus Pithomyces chartarum. It grows best on litter in pasture composed of plants with heavy leaf growth, e.g. perennial rye and white clover. Many animals die early because of the hepatic insufficiency combined with the widespread tissue damage.
facial fold dermatitis
see fold dermatitis.
facial hyperostosis
idiopathic facial dermatosis of Persian cats
inflammation of the periocular, perioral skin and sometimes chin associated with the accumulation of black material matting the skin. External ear canals may also become involved. The cause is unknown.
facial nerve
the seventh cranial nerve; its motor fibers supply the muscles of facial expression. These are a complex group of cutaneous muscles that move the eyebrows, eyelids, ears, corners of the mouth, and other parts of the face. The sensory fibers of the facial nerve provide a sense of taste in the forward two-thirds of the tongue, and also supply the submaxillary, sublingual and lacrimal glands for secretion. See also Table 14.
facial nerve root granuloma
chronic, inflammatory disease in calves characterized by space-occupying, granulomatous lesions on the facial and vestibulocochlear nerves and clinical signs of facial paralysis and balance abnormalities.
facial paralysis
characterized by unilateral signs related to facial movements and asymmetry of the face. There is droopiness of the ear and an inability to move it, drooping of the eyelid, sagging and drooping of the lower lip and deviation of the nose to the normal side.
Enlarge picture
Facial paralysis in a horse. By permission from Knottenbelt DC, Pascoe RR, Diseases and Disorders of the Horse, Saunders, 2003
facial sinus
see malar abscess.
facial sinusitis
infection and inflammation occurs secondarily to rhinitis or to damage to a horn or dehorning. Neoplasia of a horn core may extend into the sinus.
facial tumor disease
see tasmanian devil facial tumor disease.
References in periodicals archive ?
We thank all individuals for participating in the Norway Facial Clefts Study.
The standard endorsed by the Clinical Standards Audit Group (1999) also recommends that a member of the cleft team should visit all parents with a baby born with a facial cleft within 12 hours of birth.
2011) National Standards for Antenatal Diagnosis of a Facial Cleft.
The standard set by FASP of 75% of facial clefts detected pre-birth should substantially improve antenatal referrals of facial clefts (Klein et al reported detection rates of only 30% in 2006).
The study involved 573 infants with facial clefts (66% with cleft lip with or without cleft palate, and 34% with isolated cleft palate) identified shortly after birth and 763 randomly selected control infants, all born between 1996 and 2001.
Data Source: Population-based case-control study involving 573 infants with facial clefts and 763 randomly selected control infants born between 1996 and 2001.
Researchers examined the effects of folic acid on facial clefts in Norway, which has one of the highest rates of the condition in Europe.
Studies on Cochlear Implants and Meningitis, Autism, and Oral Facial Clefts Will Be Presented Nov.