Immediately following repair of the cleft lip your baby may have nasal stents. If there are nasal stents, they need to remain clear, so the baby can breathe through their nose. To keep the stents clear, use a 50%water/50% hydrogen peroxide solution in a syringe and squirt a small amount into the nasal stent, suction this using a blue bulb suction. The nasal stent will stay in place for at least one week. Your baby will have Steri-strips placed on the upper lip to maintain a compression on the wound that was created to repair the lip. The Steri-strips need to be left in lace until they fall off by themselves or are removed at the one week postoperative appointment.
After one week if the wound has not completely healed or there are areas of crusting and/or scabbing, I would recommend a solution of 50% water/50% hydrogen peroxide be applied with a Q-tip or cotton ball three times a day for one week. Once the crusting and/or scabbing has subsided and the wound is completely healed:
1. Use a mild baby soap and water to clean the lip twice a day. After cleaning, pat the area dry with a soft cloth.
2. After cleaning two times each day, an aggressive massage of the lip should be done. Apply Vitamin E oil to the lip between cleanings and massage into the skin, pulling downward on the lip as you massage. This massage technique will help break up scarring within the lip and will decrease notching of the vermilion border.
3. Apply the scar prevention gel, this should be done for at least three months.
4. Use an SPF 50 sunscreen over the gel. An excellent sunscreen would be Waterbabies SPF 50.
If you have any questions regarding this regimen, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kevin Smith at 271-4955.