Public Treatment Service in Hong Kong

Cleft lip and palate patients require treatments of multidisciplinary team approach from babyhood to adulthood.  The multidisciplinary team include the following major members:

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons (or other surgeons) provide:

  • Primary Surgeries – namely cleft lip & cleft palate repair for affected babies.
  • Secondary Surgeries – lip & nose revisions, pharyngoplasty etc. for the adult patients.



  • To straightens the patients’ teeth and aligns the jaws.


Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons provide:

  • Alveolar bone graft surgery for 8-10 years old patients.
  • Orthognathic surgery for 18 year old patients (if required).


ENT Doctors

  • Following up patients’ ear infections & alleviate fluid build-up in middle ears to restore hearing.


Speech Therapist

  • Assesses feeding and helps with language development.


Treatment for Clefts

Cleft lip and palate patients have to receive treatment in different stage of growth.  Surgeries are the main kind of treatment for them.  There are two phases of treatment as follows:

Phase Age Details of Treatment Responsible Surgical Specialty
Treatment Way 1


Treatment Way 2

Children Hospital

Primary Treatment 3 months Lip Repair Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Paediatric Surgeon
1 yr. Palate Repair Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Paediatric Surgeon
Secondary Treatment 10 yrs. Alveolar Bone Graft Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
18 yrs. Orthognathic surgery

(HKACLP provides Early Orthodontic Treatment for 6-12 years old Cleft Lip & Palate Children to correct their underbite problem so this surgery may not be required)

20 yrs. Secondary Lip & Nose Revision Surgery Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon ENT doctor


  • QMH stands for Queen Mary Hospital, KWH stands for Kwong Wah Hospital, and TMH stands for Tuen Mun Hospital.
  • The above treatment is for patients with complete clefts, those patients with incomplete clefts only need part of the above treatment.
  • If required, the patients may receive speech therapy, and seek for ENT doctor’s treatment for ear infection and middle ear fluid.
  • In different public hospitals, soft tissue surgeries (including Lip Repair, Palate Repair, Secondary Lip & Nose Revision Surgery etc.)  for patients with clefts are provided by different surgical specialties.
  • Cleft lip and palate is a kind of orafacial anomalies, the patients not only need Primary Treatment but also require the Secondary one.  Therefore, when choosing treatment service for their affected babies,  the parents should consider the entire treatment course.
  • The above information is only for reference.  For details, please inquire individual hospital.


Parents & Patients’ Rights

Parents of newborn cleft lip and palate babies:

  1. Parents have the right to receive support and assistance from HKACLP – the patient organization.


  1. Parents have the right to obtain from HKACLP the information about all public treatment services in Hong Kong for their consideration and selection of medical service.


  1. Parents have the right to choose freely for their cleft lip and palate babies any public hospital for follow-up treatment.


Parents & patients:

  1. Parents and patients have the right to know details of each operation (i.e. whether there are additional surgical procedures apart from the basic one), so as to decide on their own whether to accept all contents of the operation.


  1. During the course of treatment, if parents and patients feel that the current public hospital’s treatment not quite appropriate for them, they can turn to other public hospital for follow up treatment at any time.


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