We are so fortunate to have a wonderful Orthodontist on the team.  We also have an Orthodontic Resident as part of the Genetics team, so we were well prepared for 3 month old baby Aradhya.

IMG_8468At Clinic, our Dr. Tolarova of the Genetics team diagnosed that Aradhya’s cleft palate was a result of a specific syndrome, called Pierre Robins syndrome, where the chin does not develop, so the tongue does not descend, but rather remains in a position such that the palate can not develop properly.  In these cases the chin, given time, usually catches up to the rest of the face within about 4 years, but palate surgery can be performed around age 2. To do the surgery before then can compromise the airway.

In the meantime, however, the baby has problems gaining weight, as these palates tend to be larger than other types of cleft palates.  This baby was taking one and a half hours to take 75ml.  In essence, she was using more calories to eat than she was getting, and she was not thriving.

create moldEnter our Orthodontist Dr. Thodas and resident Dr. Maurice Simanian, and with the materials Rotaplast brought, they fashion a feeding plate.  This is a little device the parents will insert into the mouth to close the palate when the baby takes her bottle. The first step is to take an impression.

making the feeding plateThen they build the feeding plate from resulting model by expertly layering on the compound and trimming it so it fits.

DSC_0127When the parents bring Aradhya back, they are shown how to insert it, and they give her a bottle.  This time she takes 110ml in about 10 minutes!!!  Her eyes glaze over with that full tummy baby look that the parents have never seen.  Aradhya is on track to gain weight and get the nourishment her body needs to help grow the chin, and with any luck, we’ll be seeing her in two years for a palate surgery!