Hare-lip signifies a lip divided in the centre. The child is born with it. It may exist only on one side, or there may be a double fissure with a small flap of skin between. Sometimes there is also a fissure in the bony palate, sometimes in the soft palate also, and sometimes the upper front teeth project through the fissure, all which produce considerable deformity, and an impediment in speaking and eating.


The edges of the fissure, which are red like the lip, are to be pared, and then made to unite by adhesion. Sir A. Cooper recommended that the operation should not be undertaken till the child is about two years old, and has cut its teeth; because of the liability of young infants to be carried off by diarrhoea or convulsions. Sir William Fergusson believed the risk to be exaggerated, and preferred operating soon after the child was weaned; provided, however, it was in good health, and not suffering from its teeth at the time. This is, of course, an operation for the surgeon.