CUH NHS 75th birthday logo

Cleft lip

Patient information A-Z

black and white drawing of a baby with a cleft lip
Cleft lip

What is the problem?

During your ultrasound examination we have found that your baby has an area on the lip that has not formed correctly. This is called a cleft lip.

What does this mean?

We find this in approximately 1 in 700 pregnancies (0.14%). It can affect one or both sides of the upper lip. It can be present on its own but can also be associated with a cleft of the upper gum (alveolus) and / or with the palate. It is often difficult at 20 weeks to see whether a cleft palate is present.

What happens next?

You will be offered the opportunity to discuss these findings with a fetal medicine midwife.

You will be offered a further scan in the fetal medicine unit. The fetal medicine consultant will discuss with you the need for further scans or an MRI.

Cleft lip and palate can be associated with chromosome abnormalities. The chances of this in your individual case will be discussed with you by the fetal medicine consultant, and genetic testing maybe offered.

You will also be offered the opportunity to talk to the specialist nurse from the cleft lip and palate team based here at Addenbrooke’s hospital.

What happens after baby is born?

Your baby will need an operation to repair the cleft. The timing of this and further details of the procedure will be discussed with you by the fetal medicine and cleft teams.

For further details contact the fetal medicine midwives on 01223 216185.

Useful information

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151