Facial clefts

Facial clefts comprise a wide spectrum of pathologies that result from failure of fusion in the facial region during the embryonic/early fetal period. The result is a gap in the fetal face. These clefts can affect the lip, philtrum, alveolus, and hard and soft palate to varying degrees. 

Entities that fall under this group include

Overall there is a broad spectrum of severity ranging from minimal defects (e.g bifid uvula) to large deep clefts involving both bone and soft tissues.


The estimated incidence of isolated facial clefts may be as high as 1 in 1000 births 1.



There are several classification systems for facial clefts

Article information

rID: 15521
Tag: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Facial cleft
  • Orofacial cleft
  • Orofacial clefts

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Cases and figures

  • Incomplete cleft ...
    Photograph : incomplete cleft palate
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  • Case 1: fetal cleft lip
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  • Case 2: cleft lip and palate (3D)
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