Recovery for a child after cleft lip surgery can be difficult for a small child, but they bounce back very quickly. There are some things that can make the recovery time faster and easier for you and your child.
If your child's first surgery is made when he is still small and bottle or breast feeding, you will need to change the way he eats. He will not be able to suck a nipple or pacifier, so you will need to feed him through a small syringe filled with milk or formula.ﾠTo get him used to this way of feeding, try to start feeding him this way a week or so before the surgery. After the surgery, your child will start off drinking clear liquids such as Pedialtye or clear juice.
Once the child is able to tolerate the liquid, he will be allowed to start feedings with milk or formula. You will need to feed him through the syringe for at least 10 days after surgery. Feeding him this way helps to keep the incision and stitches clean and dry, which can make the recovery time faster by preventing infection. Make sure not to feed the child any solid food before he is ready. This may cause the child to become sick and slow the recovery time.
After the surgery, your child will need to sleep on his side or back. This will prevent rubbing on the face from the covers. It is also important to try to prevent the child from rubbing his lip. In some cases, arm restraints may be needed to prevent this from happening. The arm restraints will keep him from bending his elbows. These may be needed for 10 days after surgery. After the stitches have been removed or dissolved, the restraintsﾠwill not be needed. You will also need to make sure that he does not stick toys or anything in his mouth. If he sticks something in his mouth, it can cause pulling on the stitches and incision, which can delay the recovery time.
After the surgery, your child will be given pain medication through an IV. After you take him home, you can give him the pain medication through the syringe. In many cases, you will be given an antibiotic for the child. This will help to prevent an infection from developing. This can also be administered through the syringe.
After the surgery, your child may also suffer from nasal stuffiness. He may also experience some snoring and begin breathing through his mouth. If this happens, talk to your doctor. He may prescribe a nasal spray or saline spray to help relieve some of this discomfort.
It is important for you to follow all of the doctor's orders to make sure that your child's surgery goes as smooth as possible. By taking all the precautions, your child's recovery will be minimal. If your child does experience any kind ofﾠset back, call your doctor immediately.