Our work About cleft lip and palate What are the physical effects of cleft lip and palate? Patients may need many procedures to achieve a satisfactory result. These will involve stays in hospitals and may be painful and traumatic – not just for the patients but also for those who care for them. However, other patients have good results after a minimum number of operations. This may be because of the quality of surgery but there are other factors – some of which we don’t yet understand. In the developing world, where cleft patients are frequently not operated on until later in life (if at all), they may be malnourished, unable to talk well or hear properly and will often be social outcasts.