9 doctors weighed in:

How far along do you have to be for a prenatal ultrasound to tell if the baby has cleft lip or palate?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Cleft lip

A structural assessment of the growing fetus, called a level ii ultrasound or a targeted ultrasound, is usually done at 18 - 20 weeks gestation.
Sometimes abnormal structures can be picked up earlier but not always.

In brief: Cleft lip

A structural assessment of the growing fetus, called a level ii ultrasound or a targeted ultrasound, is usually done at 18 - 20 weeks gestation.
Sometimes abnormal structures can be picked up earlier but not always.
Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: By 20 weeks

Typically you will be able to diagnose these by 20 weeks but higher resolution ultrasounds and more advanced cases may be diagnosed at an earlier date.

In brief: By 20 weeks

Typically you will be able to diagnose these by 20 weeks but higher resolution ultrasounds and more advanced cases may be diagnosed at an earlier date.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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Dr. David Schleimer
Dentistry - Orthodontics

In brief: After 20 weeks

Older fetal ultrasound technology was not particularly accurate at identifying clefts at early gestational ages, however advances in 3d and 4d ultrasound imaging allow identification quite clearly after 20 weeks and is very clear at older gestational ages.
The actual clefting develops in utero between the 6-12 week.

In brief: After 20 weeks

Older fetal ultrasound technology was not particularly accurate at identifying clefts at early gestational ages, however advances in 3d and 4d ultrasound imaging allow identification quite clearly after 20 weeks and is very clear at older gestational ages.
The actual clefting develops in utero between the 6-12 week.
Dr. David Schleimer
Dr. David Schleimer
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Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Dentistry - Cosmetic

In brief: Trimester

I suggest doing a 3-d ultrasound.
As soon as you can visualize the lips and rule out cleft lip. Do you or your husband have a cleft lip?

In brief: Trimester

I suggest doing a 3-d ultrasound.
As soon as you can visualize the lips and rule out cleft lip. Do you or your husband have a cleft lip?
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
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David Escobar
Family Medicine

In brief: 2nd Trimester

Cleft lip/palate can sometimes be detected on ultrasound at weeks 14-16.
However, ultrasound is not a sensitive detector of cleft lip/palate; many babies are born with cleft deformities undetected. Newer ultrasound methods of 3-d display can improve visualization of cleft deformities. The cleft lip is easier to see than just a palate cleft. Both are repairable after birth.

In brief: 2nd Trimester

Cleft lip/palate can sometimes be detected on ultrasound at weeks 14-16.
However, ultrasound is not a sensitive detector of cleft lip/palate; many babies are born with cleft deformities undetected. Newer ultrasound methods of 3-d display can improve visualization of cleft deformities. The cleft lip is easier to see than just a palate cleft. Both are repairable after birth.
David Escobar
David Escobar
Answer assisted by David Escobar, Medical Student
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