Cleft palate is a very common congenital birth defect characterized by a split in the roof of the mouth. It is the direct result of underdeveloped facial structures in an unborn baby that do not close completely. Cleft palate can affect one or both sides of the face and may lead to severe, life-threatening complications. In this article we will discuss the signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, and treatments for a cleft palate.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cleft palate after taking Topamax, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Signs & Symptoms of Cleft Palate
Cleft palate symptoms are apparent immediately after birth and vary in severity. Clefts can range from a small notch in the lip to a more severe case that can extend from the palate through the upper gum into the bottom of the nose.
Causes of Cleft Palate
The majority of researchers tend to agree that cleft palate is caused by an interaction of genetic and environmental factors. However, the specific cause for cleft palate is still unknown. Recent studies have linked Topamax, an anticonvulsant medication, to an increased risk of cleft palate in babies who were born to mothers that were prescribed the drug while pregnant. The following is a list of causes linked to causing cleft palate:
- Parents genes passed on that may cause clefting
- Fetal exposure to cigarette smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs
- Mothers who use Topamax during pregnancy increase the risk of their child developing a cleft palate
Risk Factors Associated with Cleft Palate
There may be several contributing risk factors associated with the development of a cleft palate. The following factors may increase the likelihood of a baby developing a cleft palate:
- Taking Topamax while pregnant
- Family history
- Environmental factors
- Maternal obesity
For more information on these risk factors, please visit Mayoclinic.com.
Complications Associated with Cleft Palate
Depending on the severity of the clefting, the following complications may occur:
- Feeding difficulties
- Ear infections and hearing loss
- Dental problems
- Speech difficulties
- Psychological challenges
For more information regarding these complications, please visit Mayoclinic.com.
Cleft Palate Treatments
Treatment of cleft palate requires an intricate approach that lasts from birth to adulthood in order to compensate for the child’s continuous growing. The treatment requires reconstructive surgery to repair the cleft. In cleft palate surgery, the surgeon makes incisions on both sides of the cleft and uses specialized techniques to reposition tissue and muscles. The repair is then stitched closed, usually along the midline of the roof of the mouth.
Do I have a Cleft Palate Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in cleft palate lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cleft palate after taking Topamax, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.