Effect of One-Stage versus Two-Stage Palatoplasty on Hypernasality and Fistula Formation in Children with Complete Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Is one-stage or two-stage palatoplasty more effective for preventing fistula formation and hypernasality in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate?


This parallel blocked randomized controlled trial included 100 patients with nonsyndromic complete unilateral cleft lip and palate with a repaired cleft lip, divided into two equal groups. Group A had one-stage palatoplasty patients at age 12 to 13 months while group B had two-stage palatoplasty patients with soft palatoplasty at age 12 to 13 months and hard palatoplasty at age 24 to 25 months. Presence of a fistula was tested clinically at 3 years and speech was tested using nasometry and perceptual analyses at 6 years. Group C consisted of noncleft controls (n = 20, age 6 years) for speech using nasometry. Fistula rates, hypernasality ratings, and nasalance scores were compared between groups A and B. Nasometry recordings of groups A and B were compared with control group C.


There was no difference in fistula rates between groups A and B (p = 0.409; 95 percent CI, 0.365 to 11.9). Mean nasalance scores of group A showed higher nasalance than group B (p = 0.006; 95 percent CI, 1.16 to 6.53). Perceptual analysis showed no difference between groups A and B (p = 0.837 and p = 1.000). Group A showed higher mean nasalance than group C (p = 0.837 and p = 1.000), whereas group B showed no difference (p = 0.088; 95 percent CI, −0.14 to 2.02).


There was no difference in fistula rates between groups. Nasalance was slightly higher in patients in the one-stage palatoplasty group than two-stage palatoplasty group, but the difference was not clinically significant.


Therapeutic, II.

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