Comparison of the Speech Results After Correction of Submucous Cleft Palate With Furlow Palatoplasty and Pharyngeal Flap Combined With Intravelar Veloplasty

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Abstract

Submucous cleft palate (SMCP) is a relatively rare variant of the common pathology of cleft palate with specific anatomic and clinical features. Even though there are many surgical options defined previously to correct the SMCP, correction of the velopharyngeal insufficiency and obtaining ideal speech results remains as a challenge. The aim of this article was to compare the speech benefits of Furlow double opposing Z plasty and posterior pharyngeal flap operation combined with intravelar veloplasty for the correction of SMCP using objective assessment tools. This study reviewed 29 patients who underwent either superiorly based posterior pharyngeal flap combined with intravelar veloplasty or Furlow palatoplasty for submucous cleft palate repair between years 2005 and 2011. The mean standard deviation age at palate repair was 123.6 ± 65.8 months and the mean follow-up period was 31.2 ± 15.9 months. The postoperative results demonstrated that in both groups significantly correction has been achieved in means of velopharygeal closure (P values for Furlow and pharyngeal flap groups are 0.012 and 0.001 respectively). The correction of the nasalance scores obtained depending on the surgical procedure for /şa/ and /ka/ syllables demonstrated significantly more benefit with pharyngeal flap combined with intravelar veloplasty than Furlow palatoplasty (P = 0.026 for each). In the treatment of submucous clefts, both Furlow palatoplasty and pharyngeal flap procedure combined with intravelar veloplasty appear to be effective whereas for the patients having significant signs of hypernasality, contribution of pharyngeal flap may be taken into consideration.

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