The needs of patients with a cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) extend beyond surgical repair. A multidisciplinary approach to the care of patients with CL/P is the widely accepted standard in most regions of the developed world. Patients with CL/P in developing countries have needs similar to those of patients in industrialized nations. However, the existing shortages of healthcare resources have precluded provision of the most basic care to those with a CL/P. Innovative applications of technology can facilitate the delivery of speech therapy, evaluation of audiometric data, and limited dental evaluation for these patients with a modest financial investment. One method by which this care might be provided is with the use of Internet-based modalities. This represents a near universally available method to fill a conspicuous gap in the preoperative evaluation and postoperative care of patients with CL/P in the developing world. With rapidly expanding access to the Internet, particularly with wireless-3G connectivity worldwide, it is time to expand our delivery of humanitarian care beyond surgery alone in treating patients with CL/P in medically underserved areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery