The objective of this study is to investigate the nutritional status of patients with cleft lip and/or palate when compared to non-cleft lip or palate patients. A retrospective analysis was carried out of all patients aged less than 1 year who were operated on in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda hospital since opening in April 2009 to November 2010. The data was divided into three groups: cleft lip patients; cleft lip and palate patients and non-cleft patients. The WHO anthropometric calculator was used to calculate weight-for-age Z scores on each patient for the initial outpatient appointment and the operation. The demographic data and Z scores were compared using independent T tests. Three hundred and twenty-one patients were identified, 131 patients had cleft lip alone, 112 patients had cleft lip and palate and 78 patients had no cleft. The cleft lip and palate group had significantly lower Z scores for both the outpatient appointment and operation (i.e. were more malnourished) than either the cleft lip group or the non-cleft group. Malnutrition is a well-documented problem associated with cleft lip and palate. Our research confirms this malnutrition but also highlights the severity of the malnutrition. The patients with cleft lip and palate are unable to feed adequately and therefore need intervention. We operate on these patients once they reach a target weight of 3 kg and repair both lip and palate in one operation to enable patients to feed and improve their nutritional status.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2012
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