Transverse Mucoperiosteal Flap Inset by Rotation for Cleft Palate Repair: Technique and Outcomes

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Cleft palate is a relatively common deformity with various techniques described for its repair. Most techniques address the hard palate portion of the cleft with bilateral mucoperiosteal flaps transposed to the midline. This results in superimposed, linear closure layers directly over the cleft and may predispose the repair to oronasal fistula formation. This report details an alternative technique of flap rotation with an outcome analysis.


A retrospective chart analysis was performed of all patients having undergone primary palatoplasty for cleft palate. Demographics and cleft Veau type were recorded. Postoperative speech outcomes were assessed by standardized speech evaluation performed by 2 speech language pathologists. The presence and location of oronasal fistulae was assessed and recorded by the surgeon and speech language pathologists in follow-up evaluations.


The study revealed an overall incidence of velopharyngeal insufficiency of 5.7% using this surgical technique. It also revealed a fistula rate of 8.6%. Secondary surgery has been successful in those patients in which it was indicated. Eleven (31%) patients were diagnosed with Robin sequence.


This technique demonstrates excellent early outcomes in a difficult subset of cleft patients including a high proportion of those with Pierre Robin sequence. The technique addresses the inherent disadvantages to a linear closure over the bony cleft. The variability in its design provides the surgeon another option for correction of this deformity.

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