Repair of cleft lip and cleft palate

Letter from the Shalagin family from Russia

Repair of cleft lip and cleft palate

Nikita was born with a congenital deformation – a cleft palate (palatoschisis) and a cleft lip (cheiloschisis). This condition occurs during the first six weeks of pregnancy when the development of the face is coordinated by complex morphogenetic events when the primitive tissue lobes grow. If these tissues fail to meet, a gap appears where the tissues should have joined (fused), resulting in a cleft palate or a Tessier cleft, a condition that occurs in one from every 700 newborns.

When the infant was diagnosed with this condition, his parents knew that they needed expert care to address the situation. Their research showed that children with this distortion could be challenged with feeding problems, middle ear infections leading to compromised hearing and an impaired skill for language acquisition. Their life experience taught them that often times such children encounter a negative social experience seriously effecting their quality of life.

They contacted iMER and sent all medical material to Prof. Ray Melmed, the iMER medical advisor who reviewed the records and referred Nikita to the team of the Hadassah Plastic surgery clinic. Their testimony is in this heartwarming letter that they sent to the iMER staff.

“We contacted  the “Hadassah” hospital regarding surgery  for correction of the upper palate,  lip and tongue that our young son needed.

The first surgery, on the lips was performed when he was 4 months old, the hospital and the staff was of the highest level. Everybody was positive and wished us well, the medical staff were available to answer all of our questions. The results of the surgery is amazing.

The second operation on the inner cheek was made 10 months later. Both surgeries were performed by Dr. Alex Margulis.

Two years later, you cannot know that corrective surgery was performed.

Words cannot express our thanks to the iMER team for the organization of the case and for offering us the highest possible level of service. The choice of medical staff provided us with a perfect solution to what originally seemed an enormous and heartbreaking challenge.

Two years later, we can honestly say that Dr. Margulis is gifted with golden hands and heart.

We still have an additional surgery in front of us and we will make every possible effort to return to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, our experience has shown us that this is the one place in the world that we can place our most valuable possession, our baby, in their hands.

The Shalagin family

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Patients’ Stories

Frequently the iMER Coordinators are moved by medical cases such as this one: a 36 year old woman from Athens, Greece, in the 35th week of her pregnancy, suddenly experienced breathing difficulties coupled with vomiting. Her distressed husband rushed her to the closest hospital in Athens, where she received emergency treatment but despite all efforts, became spastic and lost consciousness. The Greek doctors diagnosed her with eclampsi. She underwent a caesarean section to save her baby and this surgery was followed by two craniotomies to