Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment
Individuals with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial disorders require complex care involving multiple specialists working together in a coordinated fashion. These specialties include Orthodontists, Speech Therapist, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, General Dentist, Otolaryngologists, and Social Workers among others.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are involved with reconstructing the bony portion of cleft defects. This can involve bone grafting the cleft defect of the upper jaw at the appropriate time of the child’s development. This time varies based on the pace of each individual child’s development. The usual ages for this procedure is from 9 – 11 years of age. This grafting procedure is usually done in coordination with the child’s Dentist and Orthodontist. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon usually follows the patient long term, monitoring their growth and development. It is not unusual that many cleft and craniofacial patient will have some growth imbalance of the facial bones. Once the individuals growth is complete, usually 17 – 19 years of age, the Oral Surgeon will surgically correct this facial imbalance. As with the other procedures, this treatment is usually done in close coordination with an Orthodontist. Dr. Thoman has been involved with the treatment of cleft lip and palate disorders for over 20 years. Dr. Thoman has been the member of a number of Cleft Lip and Palate Teams. He was a part of the Cleft Lip and Palate Team in Honolulu, Hawaii for 15 years. This team serviced the cleft population for the entire state of Hawaii. The Cleft Lip and Palate Team in Honolulu was a busy team due to the fact that the Hawaii population is primarily of Asian descent, which has the highest incidence of cleft lip and palate of any ethnic group. The care Dr. Thoman provided was not only limited to standard cleft lip and palate surgery. He was also involved in treatment of more complex craniofacial disorders such as Hemifacial Microsomia. Dr. Thoman was excited to join and offer his expertise to the Cleft Lip and Palate Team here in Colorado Springs. Dr. Thoman finds working with cleft and craniofacial patients in coordination with other specialists as one of the most gratifying and rewarding aspects of his career.