How Much Does Cleft Palate Surgery Cost?
A cleft lip is a common birth defect that happens every 1 in 700 births. Caused by an abnormal facial development during gestation, a gap can be formed. The same type of abnormal development can also affect other parts of the body such as the eyes, ears, and nose. The cost of cleft lip surgery will vary depending on the hospital and doctor performing the procedure, the complexity of the surgery and geographical location.
How much is it?
- On average, the surgery is going to cost anywhere from $5,000 to as much as $12,000 without any type of insurance. If the child has a cleft lip and palate, the price can almost double.
- Once the child hits the age of 18, most parents have reported that they spent close to $20,000 for all the procedures out of pocket.
- If you do have insurance, most health insurance providers will cover this procedure. Depending on your insurance policy, you will only be responsible for your co-pays and deductibles.
- According to the website YourDentistryGuide.com, the procedure can start at a $5,000 minimum. This website also notes that a child could need multiple surgeries in the future depending on the situation.
What are the extra costs?
- Depending on the severity of the cleft lip, a child may need more than one surgery to fix it completely. Each surgery can greatly vary, but the initial surgery is usually the one that will cost the most. It is not uncommon for a child to need surgeries and procedures all the way up until the age of 18.
- The patient will be put under a local anesthesia. Anesthesia can start at $700 and go up from there depending on the hospital’s billing policy. Some hospitals may include this with the price of surgery.
- Depending on the hospital, the physician services can be considered a separate expense.
What is going to be included?
- After the age of three months, a surgery can be performed on c baby. During the procedure, the surgeon will make a slight incision on each side of the cleft. After this incision has been performed, the opening will be closed by pulling the tissue down.
- These procedures will more than likely have to continue throughout his adolescent life as the child grows and develops.
Tips to know:
- Babies with a cleft palate can have a hard time feeding due to the opening in their mouth. As food and liquids enter the mouth, it can slip through the opening.
- It has been known that children with a cleft palate can develop speech problems. Due to this, a child may require speech therapy during his early years in school.
- In most cases, a cleft lip is going to be performed through a plastic surgeon. Other professionals may be needed throughout the child’s life, such as an audiologist, speech pathologist, social worker, and geneticist.
- When choosing a surgeon, make sure that he is associated with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It is also important to find a surgeon that has worked with cleft lips in the past.
How can I save money?
- If you do not have the money to afford the procedure, there are many foundations such as Cleftline.org that can assist you with the cost. Speak with one of these organizations to see what they can do for you in terms of financial assistance.
- If you do not have any type of health insurance plan, consider using services such as eHealthInsurance.com to find the lowest health insurance plan in your local area.