Lip Cleft


Does anyone has experiences with babies born with lip cleft and/or palate, while living in Taiwan? Perhaps not your own children, but maybe friends, relatives or other relations.
Anybody here know a little about the Taiwan system (health care) when it comes to clefts operations, the follow-ups, dentists and such? How much is covered by NHI etc.

The reason I ask, it we might very well be in need of going through this in about 4 months. Unfortunately the last ultrasound check said our babygirl appears to have a lip cleft on her upper left. Single-sided.

I’ve read a lot about it these last days, but mainly from danish websites, so I don’t get any “foreign” words mixed up and getting too confused. I therefor know a little about the danish system and would like to compare - if possible.

We’ll be doing a so-called level II ultrasound for a more in-depth result next week, but I just feel I need to do some reseach beforehand - there’s a loooong time to next week :wink:

Please, do share your experiences. -oh, and thoughts in general about going into surgery in Taiwan on a 2-3 months year old baby.


Tine - who is very excited about having a GIRL this time!

First of all, congratulations! Babies are wonderful! Fixing cleft palates/cleft lips is really routine stuff by now, so I don’t think you need to be too freaked out. With regards to coverage, I have no idea, but please do keep us posted!

Check out the Smile Foundation! This is their website address in English:

Dr. Noordhoff is one of world’s premier leaders in Facial Cranial Reconstruction and made it his life’s mission to train some of the world’s most outstanding surgeons right here in Taiwan. Internationally, Taiwan holds one of the leading positions in the medical field fro this type of work.

Several years ago I contacted Dr. Noordhoff regarding some friends who were living here from S.A. when their baby was born with a cleft palate. He recommended the Chang Gung Craniofacial Department, where they had the surgery performed. Their daughter is now three and one would never know she had been born with cleft lip and palate. The surgeons were excellent.

Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your new daughter. She will bring you much joy, I’m sure!

How can anybody really know, if this is actual facts?
Trust the hearsay and the words coming from the doctors or is there somewhere to read more about that?

I heard Dr. Noordhoff speak at the Taipei International Church a few years back, and there was a slide show with before and after pics. Truly, this guy is top-notch. If he passed on even an iota of his talent to the docs he trained in Taiwan, then I would say you are in very good hands…

There’s actually a lot of information on the web about this foundation and it’s history. You can start by checking out theSmile Foundation as shown above,

the Taiwan Journal at

or Loma Linda at

or Smile Train in Africa at

Just a beginning! :slight_smile:

One of my students children had a cleft lip. After the operation you couldn’t even tell unless you knew. From my understanding there is normally a series of operations at different ages as I guess you probably know by now.
You should have someone contact the NHI and ask about coverage. Or you could probably visit the hospial’s social services department where you go and ask them about it. Most large hospitals have a Social Services department on the 1st floor.
I found this on a quick search which looks promising:
Performing reconstructive surgery for accident victims and correcting cleft palates have long been routine in hospitals. Organizations like the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, named for Samuel Noordhoff, a long-time resident of Taiwan and a pioneer of cleft lip and palate surgery, have provided funding for reconstructive surgery since its founding in 1990. Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, which works closely with the Noordhoff Foundation, is now listed as one of the world’s top medical training centers for plastic surgery. … CtNode=119

I’ve been meaning to give you guys an update here aswell on this whole matter.

Looks like we have nothing to worry about after all - we went to see our doctor, Dr. Lin, at Tai-an Hospital in Taipei for a level II ultrasound.
She was very convinced that our beautiful baby-girl dosen’t have a lip-cleft!!! It’s been a month, since we did that ultrasound and last friday I did another in Jhongli at a different hospital. Got pictures and she looks just fine and perfect (she would be even WITH a cleft, but you know what I mean).

Thanks for your replys (I’ve read all the links giving in this topic and I’m sure the doctors in taiwan are good!)

Many regards
Miss big belly

anyway, if you do ever need it, the plastic surgery scene in Taiwan is the busiest and therefore one of the best in the entire world, especially in Cheng Gung hospital, Linkou: world’s heavist plastic surgery caseload, and filled with top doctors from all over the world coming here to train.


My daughter was born with a symetric lip cleft on both side. She got operated 2~3 weeks ago, and she already look normal (except the small scars that will take a little longer to disappear).

She is already smiling again, no problems.
We had almost nothing to pay for the operation, her case was handled by the national health system. We went to LinKou林口 for the operation, we choosed the best doctor (easy to find which one, he is absolutely always busy).

My husband was born with a cleft lip and pallate. He was lucky enough to be delivered by a dr. who kept up with things and was sent to Taipei, where the world’s leading facial cranial surger was training new surgens. Taipei is, actualy, the best place in the world for this procedure now. I know, all other facts about Taiwan would make this fact seem unlikely, but it is true.