Superiorly Based Pharyngeal Flap for the Surgical Treatment of Velopharyngeal Insufficiency and Speech Outcomes

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Abstract

A retrospective chart review comparing pre and postoperative speech in 19 patients who underwent pharyngeal flap surgery for the diagnosis of velopharyngeal insufficiency. Eighteen of the patients had a history of cleft palate. Patients were assigned a speech grade between 1 and 5 based on the objective and subjective quality of their speech. Comparison of pre and postoperative speech showed significant improvement in speech quality from a mean grade of 3.37 to 2.00 (P < 0.001). This study demonstrates that a wide, superiorly based pharyngeal flap did lead to significant improvement in speech outcomes in this group of patients independent of gender or age.

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