Influence of the Furlow Palatoplasty for Patients With Submucous Cleft Palate on Facial Growth

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the facial growth in patients with submucous cleft palate operated on using the Furlow palatoplasty. A total of 30 patients with submucous cleft palate underwent Furlow palatoplasty from 1993 to 1998. The mean follow-up period was 4 years and 3 months. Twenty-five of 30 patients were followed up. Mid-facial growth was measured using lateral cephalograms in 18 patients whose age was greater than 8 years. The parameters obtained in the lateral cephalogram were compared with those of a healthy population in Korea. Eleven (61.1%) of 18 patients observed were within the clinical normal range for the age group for the parameter of the span between the anterior nasal spine and posterior nasal spine, 6 patients (33.3%) were over the range, and 1 patient (5.6%) was below the range. For the sella-nasion-subspinale angle, 55.6% of patients were within the clinical normal range, 27.8% were over the range, and 16.6% were below the range. For the sella-nasion-supramentale angle, 55.6% of patients were within the clinical normal range, 22.2% were over the range, and 22.2% were below the range. For the sella-nasion-subspinale-sella-nasion-supramentale angle, 72.2% of patients were within the clinical normal range, 27.8% were over the range, and none were below the range. For the span between the basion and posterior nasal spine, 50.0% of patients were within the clinical normal range, 27.8% were over the range, and 22.2% were below the range. In conclusion, our results suggest that the Furlow palatoplasty is a useful procedure as an initial treatment of submucous cleft palate and that this technique has a less harmful effect on facial growth because there is no excessive surgical intervention on the hard palate and alveolar process.

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