Topamax, a pharmaceutical drug used to treat migraines and epilepsy, has been shown to cause birth defects, like cleft lip or cleft palate, in children, which may call for surgery, when taken by mothers during pregnancy.
Surgery is often a last resort for many health professionals who would rather see a patient heal naturally. However, when necessary, surgery can be advantageous, as long as it is handled with great caution. The surgery for a cleft lip or palate is no exception when it comes to taking precautionary measures. After your consultation with your doctor, he/she may recommend surgery to repair your child’s birth defect.
Potential Side Effects of Cleft Lip Surgery
Your doctor will take your personal circumstance into deep consideration and will advise you of the great benefits that are possible from surgery, along with the potential risks and side effects. The advantages of surgery are obvious in helping the child’s dentition, oral health, and your child’s ability to lead a “normal” life. However, when making this important decision, you, as the parent, need to be aware of the potentially harmful effects.
Prior to surgery, some common side risks are bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions, risks of anesthesia (a heavy drug that is used to reduce sensation and pain during the procedure), allergies, and damage to other, possibly more internal, structures. When a young child goes under anesthesia, he or she is susceptible to unwanted reactions. Furthermore, there are additional effects that can lead to a need for more surgeries. In some cases, after surgery, bones in the face do not continue to grow, meaning that the structure and growth of the face has been disrupted by the repair of the cleft lip, causing more facial damage. Also, the space between the lips and nose is a difficult one to duplicate for many surgeons. It is possible that the cleft lip repair may cause the face to look abnormal by having an unusual amount of space between the lip and nose. These negative effects do not necessarily always occur, but it is important to be aware of them before making this important decision. Your physician will know what is best for your child’s health.
Birth Defects Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your child was born with a birth defect that you believe can be attributed to your use of Topamax during pregnancy, you probably have some questions. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.