Checking her Cleft Lip + Palate

As part of her preparation for surgery, it was necessary for Dina to see part of the Cleft Lip and Palate team. She saw a maxillofacial surgeon today, who quickly deemed that the cleft lip and palate prove not to be a contraindication to her heart surgery. This is very good news, allowing the cardiac team to plan and arrange a date for Dina’s heart surgery.

The surgeon we saw today was a kind man, agreeing to see Dina, despite there being a strike at the hospital, with many other appointments being cancelled. We waited for some time, during which Dina’s mother telephoned her two other daughters in Kurdistan; they seem like a very loving family.

In the appointment, the surgeon explained that repairing Dina’s cleft lip and palate will take some time. Dina needs to wait until after she has fully recovered from the heart surgery. Then she can be con-
sidered by a plastic surgeon for her lip repair. After many more months, she could have the soft part of the palate repaired, and then after some years, to be considered for a repair of the hard part of her palate. There are other surgeries which could be considered in her teenage years for her teeth and jaw.

All in all, it is a complex and long process for the cleft repair, and our thoughts now are turning back towards the heart surgery, which we hope will be scheduled soon.