This little girl was born with a unilateral incomplete cleft lip and nasal deformity. Her twin sister was unaffected. Even though there is extensive, ongoing research dedicated to cleft lip and palate development, there remains no consensus as to their etiology. It is generally agreed upon, however, that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to their formation. The vast majority of the time, there is no history of clefting within the family and the pregnancies are usually uncomplicated. One of the most important aspects of my job, is not just as the child’s surgeon…but I also strive to serve as a reassuring source of comfort for these mothers and fathers, especially during the prenatal period when so much is unknown and the parents harbor a lot of guilt and fear. This role that I serve before the baby is born, I feel is equally as important as my role as their surgeon.
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