DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cleft palate scar in an 81 year old woman. Cleft palate is a birth defect in which there is a split in the midline of the palate (roof of the mouth). This is due to failure of the two sides to fuse in embryonic development. It is usually surgically repaired a few months after birth. Here, the repair to the cleft lip has left scar tissue (pale region, centre). Some but not all cases of cleft palate occur together with a similar split in the upper lip, known as cleft or hare lip.
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