Cleft lip (incomplete formation of the upper lip) and cleft palate (incomplete formation of the roof of the mouth) are common birth defects affecting children worldwide. The two conditions, which may occur individually or together and vary in severity, may cause difficulties with breathing, feeding, speech and hearing. Additionally, cleft lip and/or palate may cause persistent ear infections and dental problems. Thus, children born with these conditions are treated through a series of surgeries to close the separation, beginning as early as 10 weeks of age.
Dr. Abdullah not only conducts cleft lip and palate reconstruction in his practices, but also in the field. He has made several visits to Haiti, where he offers gratis surgery to impoverished children affected by the condition.