In utero surgery for cleft lip/palate: Minimizing the "ripple effect" of scarring JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY Lorenz, H. P., Longaker, M. T. 2003; 14 (4): 504-511


Surgical intervention is currently performed on highly selected fetuses with anatomical deformities that have a high mortality or severe morbidity when treated postnatally. In the future, in utero surgical intervention for non-life-threatening disease may become possible as fetal surgery becomes safer for the mother and fetus. Fetal cleft repair is an attractive intervention for plastic surgeons because it affords the potential to provide a scarless repair and correct the primary deformity. Furthermore, scarless fetal lip and palate repairs may prevent the ripple effect of postnatal scarring with its resultant secondary dentoalveolar and midface growth deformities. These potential benefits can dramatically reduce the number of postnatal reconstructive procedures in children with facial clefts. The rationale for a prenatal treatment approach to the patient with cleft lip/palate and the experimental evidence to support in utero intervention are discussed in this article.

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View details for PubMedID 12867864