One year-old "N" was born with bilateral (both sides) #4 Tessier facial clefts. Such clefts go up from the mouth on the outside of the nose and continue to the orbits (eye sockets).
This type of deformity is a form of what is called a neural tube defect. Cleft lips and palates, facial clefts, spina bifida, and encephaloceles (outpouchings of brain tissue from the frontal bone, or forehead) are all examples of neural tube defects. These deformities usually occur about 26-29 days after conception, which means during the early part of the first trimester of pregnancy.
Randolph Robinson, MD, DDS and the Face the Challenge surgical team operated on "N" first in all the surgeries scheduled during this trip. All children on whom the FTC team operates will be the first ones to receive their surgeries, always scheduled at the beginning of each day. These surgeries for children and then adults continued throughout the following week.
In about four hours Dr. Robinson closed the cleft on "N's" left side of her face. Then he reconstructed both of her lower eyelids.