How are cleft lip and/or cleft palate diagnosed?

Because clefts cause obvious physical changes, they are easy to diagnose. Prenatal ultrasound can diagnose most clefts of the lip. Isolated cleft palate is detected only in 7 percent of the patients during the prenatal ultrasound.

If a cleft has not been detected in an ultrasound before the baby is born, a physical examination of the mouth, nose and palate can diagnose cleft lip or cleft palate after a child’s birth. Sometimes, other tests may be conducted to learn if there are any other abnormalities.

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