Management of Type I and Type II laryngeal clefts: controversies and evidence

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Purpose of review

To summarize the pediatric Type I and Type II laryngeal cleft literature, paying special attention to recent trends, including evolution of surgical techniques, standardization of outcome assessments, and utilization of management algorithms.

Recent findings

There are a variety of options to choose from whenever considering Type I and Type II cleft repair, including endoscopic repair, transoral robotic surgery, and injection laryngoplasty. Conservative management including feeding therapy and treatment of comorbid medical conditions is recommended prior to repair. Validated outcome measures have arisen for swallow study interpretation and timing, as well as caregiver quality-of-life assessment. In addition, a series of medical algorithms have been proposed, which provide specific recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.


For clefts that fail conservative management, endoscopic repair has become the gold standard. In addition, injection laryngoplasty appears to provide both a diagnostic and therapeutic option in the management of these patients. Transoral robotic-assisted endoscopic repair appears well tolerated and feasible, although broader implementation of this technology remains limited. The development and refinement of best practice algorithms can help standardize management and improve decision-making. Furthermore, incorporating validated outcome measures, recorded and followed over time, will improve both patient care and research efforts moving forward.

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