Background and purpose: In case of cleft lip, we have performed an early neo natal surgery during 20 years. Before ultrasonography diagnosis, in front of parent’s psychological distress, we thought that an early surgery was necessary. But with antenatal diagnosis parent’s psychological aspect is now anticipated and discussed before birth. We did a retrospective study on family opinions regarding neonatal surgery, with about 380 children operated on the last 20 years. We wanted to know if an antenatal diagnosis will allow deleting our surgery.
Methods: We addressed an anonymous questionnaire to 380 families whose children have been operated on a labial cleft by our team. A statistical study was then carried out in order to analyze and discover relations between various factors. One of these factors was the antenatal diagnosis. Our rate of cleft lip diagnosis is about 95% today. 3D ultrasonography allows us to see and analyze exactly the shape of the cleft lip. For the parents it is no more an arrow on the paper, it is now the whole face of their own baby. They can see and understand the malformation of the lip and the nose. We show to the parents pictures of babies with similar case of cleft lip as their own baby, seen on 3D, then at birth and repaired. These operated cases explain our surgical possibilities.
Conclusions: We tried to establish a link between a prenatal diagnosis and parental opinion about early surgery. Neonatal surgery is increasingly difficult to realize due to organizational constraints and legal requirements, in terms of information or delays of agreements. This study elucidates parents’ psychology that allows us to adapt our timing for cleft lip surgery, now performed at the end of the first month.