Nasoalveolar molding for the cleft lip/palate infant
Dr. Meredith is among the few doctors in the country who have been trained and offer Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) treatment for cleft lip and palate infants.
WHAT IS NAM?
NAM is at the cutting edge for presurgical treatment of infants with a cleft lip and palate. Pioneered in the 1980’s by Doctor’s Barry Grayson, Larry Brecht and Court Cutting of NYU’s Institute for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, this procedure helps to align the infant’s alveolar ridges (or the bone and gums where the teeth will eventually be) as well as align the nose and create a more natural looking nose. By reducing the size of the cleft, there is less tension created at the surgery site, which helps improve the surgical result. Most often, the benefits achieved with the NAM reduce the total number of surgeries the child needs over the course of his or her life.
Side view of bilateral NAM Bilateral NAM with nasal stents
WHAT IS INVOLVED?
For famlies who elect to do this procedure, it is very time and labor intensive. The first surgery is not performed until after completion of NAM treatment, which is typically a total of 12 weeks for unilateral clefts and 20 weeks for bilateral clefts, though this varies with each child's individual situation. Weekly appointments and daily preparation of tapes and orthodontic elastics keep parents busy, however in the end, the beautiful smiles we see on our babies make it all worth the effort!