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The word "cleft" means opening or gap, so a cleft lip is an opening in the mouth, and a cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. Clefts of the lip and palate can occur separately or together: this means that a child can have a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or both a cleft lip and cleft palate. When a cleft is only on one side of the lip, it's called a unilateral cleft lip. When a cleft is on both sides of the lip, it's called a bilateral cleft lip.

   
 Unilateral Cleft Lip - Before  Unilateral Cleft Lip - After


Bilateral Cleft Lip - Before Bilateral Cleft Lip - After