Today we had the opportunity to hear from a surgeon on how cleft lip and palate surgery are completed.
A surgeon spoke with our group about how to perform cleft lip and palate surgery. We learned about pharyngeal flap surgery and how an orticochea is made. He also talked about how it can be beneficial to use a nasoendscopy to see the client’s velopharyngeal closure and to see if a primary or secondary surgery is needed. Afterwards, Dr. Crowley and the rest of our supervisors led a class on conducting initial evaluations on a patient with cleft palate. Key components to an evaluation include building rapport, incorporating an oral peripheral exam to identify the structures or pathology that may be affecting speech, and identifying the sounds that the client has difficulty producing. Then, each clinician had the chance to practice the technique that they had learned earlier in a case study scenario.
After our class we went to El Hospital del Niños de la Mano de Maria and had the chance to collaborate with speech and language pathology professionals participating in our Smile Train conference. This was an educational experience for all involved. We really enjoyed the reciprocal learning process between the speech-language pathologists in South America and our peers, and we are looking forward to learning more.
Mireidys y Chelsea