Use of the Buccal Fat Pad as Free Graft for Closure of Oronasal Fistula in a Cleft Palate Patient

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Abstract

Oronasal fistulas are frequent complications after cleft lip and palate surgery, with difficult treatment because of the presence of fibrotic and scarred tissue as well as the absence of local virgin tissue, representing a challenge in oral and maxillofacial surgery. The size of the fistula, its location, and the cause of the defect are important factors to determine the type of treatment and surgical technique. The use of pedicled buccal fat pad (BFP) for the repair of cleft palate has shown promising results, becoming a safe and effective method. On the other hand, the use of BFP as a free graft for oral defects has been rarely described in the literature. The current study is the first case report that shows the use of free graft of BFP in oronasal fistula after cleft lip and palate surgery and aimed to discuss the promising results of this surgical technique, suggesting it as a treatment option for anterior maxillary defects, when properly indicated.

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