Many people assume that Joaquin Phoenix’s scar resulted from the surgical correction of a cleft palate, but Phoenix was actually born this way. His prominent scar was formed in utero as a mild form of cleft palate called a microform cleft.
During early pregnancy separate areas of a child’s face develop individually and then join together, including the left and right sides of the roof of the mouth and lips. However, if the sections don’t meet the result is a cleft. If the separation occurs in the upper lip, the child is said to have a cleft lip. A cleft palate is initially treated with surgery safely when the child is between 7 to 18 months old. This depends upon the individual child and his/her own situation.