What is the recovery period for a child with cleft palate surgery?

Depends on repair. Cleft lip and palate may involve a wide range of associated conditions effecting the hard and soft palates as well as the dentition and auditory and speech musculature. Treatment may require more than one surgery and recovery may take more than one period. Typically within one year healing will be completed and speech therapy will be instituted.
A week or 2. Typically children who have undergone cleft palate repair will be in the hospital for a day or two while they "relearn" how to swallow and I can be sure they are eating/drinking enough. They go home on a soft diet (think pudding, jello, ice cream, baby food) for 2 weeks, then are typically released to eating what they want. Pain is really only a problem for the first 2-3 days.
A week +/- Usuallu a few dayus of post op pain, then just favoring the area for a week or two.

Related Questions

How does one prevent fistula from forming after a cleft palate surgery in a six month old child?

See surgeon. You should follow up with the surgeon that performed the procedure. A fistula could be the result of an infection or could occur due to improper healing. There is not anything that you can do on your own to prevent a fistula from forming.
Close follow-up. And following all post-op instructions carefully. The fistulous tract that you would be referring to would be an oro-nasal fistula, the very same communication that is being closed in corrective cleft palate surgery. The close follow-up will allow the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to intervene if signs of wound dehiscence, tract formation, infection etc. Are occurring.
Teamwork. Proper evaluation, surgical technique and aftercare are all very important in reducing the risk of an oro-nasal fistula after cleft palate repair. Even under the best circumstances it can happen and additional surgery is needed for closure. The best way to prevent this is finding an experienced, board certified surgeon in your area, and following directions.

My child who is 3 months has a moderate cleft palate. Surgery at 10 months. Can cleft palate lead to deafness? I know it can cause hearing loss

Usually not. Infants with cleft palate are very prone to develop frequent ear infections and middle ear effusion, which are responsible for reversible hearing loss.
Cleft team. A cleft of the palate commonly causes middle ear fluid build up and infections and require placement of ear tubes usually within the first few months of birth. You have answered your own question - yes it can cause hearing loss (partial deafness) and issues with speech. Your child's plastic surgeon, ENT surgeon ; cleft team will work together to minimize the impact of the cleft by early treatment.
Relax. Part of the defect in clefts is an altered position of the muscles that pull up on the palate & effect the drainage of fluid from the middle ear into the throat. Poor drainage can lead to retained fluid & temporary reduced hearing & ear infections. Tubes are commonly put in cleft kids even before they have ear infections. With regular monitoring your kids hearing will be preserved.

How many surgeries to fix cleft palate in child?

Depends. That is a very difficult question and it depends on how much of the palate is affected. If it is a simple cleft, it can be repaired in one surgery. If it involves a lot of the roof of the mouth it might need to be done in stages.
Usually one. Most cleft palates are fixed in one operation in the us. In some scandanavian countries, they repair the palate in two stages. The cleft in the gum line (alveolus) is repaired later, usually 6-8 yrs old.

Can cleft palate surgery be done with local and not general anesthesia?

In theory: yes, but. Is not practical. Cleft palate surgery is both delicate surgery and requires a lot of time. To expect a conscious patient (especially a child) to hold still for so long and to allow the procedure to successfully and safely be completed is not realistic.

Is cleft palate surgery ever fatal? My daughter is having it next month when she will be 11 months.

Nothing is 100% But I have never heard of a fatality from cleft palate surgery. These cases are usually planned in stages over years, are well planned out, and are common enough.
Almost never. Every surgery has an extremely tiny risk of death - primarily with anesthesia. Certainly less than 1:100000. Risk increase as the complexity of the child increases - but is still very rare. Talk with your surgeon directly about your concerns. He/she may ask you to speak with anesthesia as well. We want you to feel comfortable - and you should.
Risk/reward ratio. The main goal of cleft surgery is that the person look well, eat well, and speak well. Mortality rate is 0.34%. Moreover, there has been a definite improvement in the surgery technique and morbidity figures during the last five years. Good luck.

Is surgery for soft cleft palate generally safe?

Yes. It is a common surgery done usually at a children's hospital and is generally safe and successful to help the child with problems with eating and speech.

Has there any been any death from surgery for a cleft palate?

Yes, rare. There can be deaths from any surgical procedure; there can be adverse reactions to anesthesia, abnormal bleeding, infections etc. Fortunately such deaths are rare. You should discuss these concerns with a surgeon.
Not in my memory. And I have a very long memory. But unfortunate circumstances can occur with any surgery. Please discuss your concerns with the surgeon scheduled to do the procedure. Please know that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Cleft palate surgery, an exquisitely sophisticated procedure, can produce marvelously positive life altering results.
Cleft palate. The goals of surgery for cleft palate are to ensure the child's ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe and normal appearance. Every surgery has a possible risks include bleeding, infection or nerve damage. The post-surgical mortality rate is about 2%. R.: talk to your surgeon about risk/reward ratio.

I wondered if anyone here does volunteer cleft palate surgery?

Certainly. Speaking for myself, I have participated in medical missions to the phillipines in the past and may do so again in the future but not presently. I am certain that many other of my colleagues here have done this as well and continue to do so.
Shriner's Hospitals. The shriner's hospitals as well operation smile are wonderful organizations for finding cleft palate teams that offer their services at minimal costs to patients meeting their criteria.

Are there any long term complications to the cleft palate surgery?

No. There should not be any long-term complications from the surgery. There should be followup, however, with the surgeon performing the procedure, as well with a team monitoring your child's feeding abilities, ears, nose and throat development.
Depends. Depending on the severity of the cleft, there can be growth restriction of the middle portion of the face that begins to show up as the child ages. Whether this is due to the surgery or some underlying problem with the facial bones is unknown, but scarring from the surgery (no matter what technique is used) is thought to contribute to the problem.
Notlikely. If repaired properly by experienced surgeon there are very few long term complications with cleft lip/palate surgery. Also depends on the degree of the defect.