Harelip is a congenital malformations that occur in the face during fetal development. The incision can be visible and can lead to medical, behavioral and social difficulties. Modern medicine has developed surgical corrections to the cleft lip or rabbit.

Cleft palate or harelip occurs when two parts of the skull that form the hard palate do not come together. The soft palate also contains a gap or incision.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the United States, about 2,650 babies are born annually with throat slitting. About 4,440 children develop a harelip each year, which may occur with or without cleft palate.

Of the 15 types of incisions that may occur in the mouth and face, the harelip and the slit of the throat roof represent between 50 and 80 percent of these congenital malformations, one of the most common types of congenital malformations in the United States.

What is a harelip?

The harelip is an incision or a gap. The incision in the lip may be small or partial and looks like a gap on the lip. The entire incision can extend to the nose. Your child may have speech problems if he or she does not receive treatment for the rabbit lip.

A one-sided incision occurs on the right or left side of the upper lip. The bilateral incision affects both sides.

Cleft palate occurs when the two parts of the skull that form the hard palate do not come together. The soft palate also contains a gap or incision.

A person with a full cleft palate may have a gap in the jaw, while the incomplete cleft palate looks like a hole in the roof of the mouth. With modern surgery, most cases can be corrected with minimal scarring. If the cleft lip or cleft palate is not corrected it may lead to:

  • Dental problems
  • Ear infections and potential hearing loss
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Low self-confidence
  • Speech problems

A team of specialists, from a family doctor to a speech therapist, will help your child, as it can cause a range of developmental problems.


During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the embryo’s skull develops. Two separate plates are formed by bones and tissues and gradually move towards each other. At this point, they join, or merge, at the mouth and nose to form a skull. Incomplete integration will lead to an incision.

Risk factors

Some genes make it more likely that some people will have incision. Although most parents with fissures do not pass one to their children, cracks are common in related persons. The risk may be greater if the mother smokes or drinks more than 10 units of alcohol during each month of pregnancy, if she suffers from folic acid deficiency, or if she is obese.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some epilepsy medications, such as valproic acid, can increase the risk of developing a bunny lip if a pregnant woman uses it during the first trimester of pregnancy.


Surgery can clog the harelip and enable the child to talk and eat without difficulties. A range of interventions are available for hard-born children. An orthodontist may begin repairing the ceiling of the throat and rounding the lips within a week of birth. This treatment, called information, aims to prepare the infant for future surgery.

Harelip closure surgery can be performed within 3 to 6 months of birth. The infant will receive treatment for cleft palate between the ages of 9 and 18 months. This child should be able to talk and eat without further difficulties.

Corrective surgery can help reorganize the jaw.

In cases where the child needs surgery to correct the jaw, some doctors prefer to wait until the child reaches the age of 10 to 12 years before surgery. Waiting for all adult teeth to grow before surgery may prevent the need for corrective surgery in the future.

Other specialists prefer to correct the jaw earlier, arguing that speech therapy is less effective when the patient is older. Most children with cleft lip or palate will need a range of surgical techniques and operations as they grow up.

The incision sometimes reaches the upper edge, the edge along which the upper jaw meets the teeth. When this happens, the surgeon takes bone tissue from another part of the body, such as the hip, and uses it to fill the incision.

In many countries, the medical team monitors the infant until he reaches adulthood. For some people, surveillance may last a lifetime.

Scarring resulting from modern surgery of the incision is often minimal, but the individual may undergo further surgery later in life to cosmetically correct the remaining scar tissue.

Speaking and hearing

The harelip and the incision of the throat ceiling can affect speech due to the central role of the lips, palate and tongue in the formation of words. This abnormality can increase the risk of ear infection, which can lead to hearing damage. Drum tubes may help prevent fluid buildup in the middle ear.

A speech and language pathologist can help solve speech problems. The baby may need other types of surgery as well as incision repair to reduce the amount of air that seeps through the nose while talking. A speech therapist may also help the child correct existing speech problems before repair.

children learn to make up for it when you talk. After the fix, they learn new ways to form words.

Social life

At present, an age-old child is likely to undergo effective corrective surgery at an early age, which reduces the social impact and self-image problems that a cleft lip may cause.

However, the child may need encouragement to interact with other children from an early age. Other children may wonder why the harelip looks different. A hard-working child should be able to explain the condition to his friends.

If the incision causes hearing and speech problems, it is important that parents or caregivers discuss them with the school. Teachers can then make sure the child sits in a seat that is easy to see and hear.