Truman William Brophy developed a cleft palate surgical repair, later called the Brophy Operation, in the late nineteenth century US. The procedure improved facial aesthetics and speech in cleft palate patients. A cleft palate occurs during development when the palatal bones in the roof of the mouth don't completely fuse, leaving an opening, or cleft, in the upper lip and mouth. Brophy's cleft repair used compression inside and outside of the mouth to push the palatal bones into normal alignment shortly after birth. Brophy advocated surgery on newborns with cleft palates as soon as possible after birth, which met with opposition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when medical professionals did not operate on infants for non-life threatening conditions. However, Brophy's successful operations convinced many doctors to adopt his technique.

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