Velopharyngeal surgical procedures may have adverse effect on the airway of the patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). The aim of this study was to evaluate the polysomnographic parameters (PSG) in patients who underwent corrective surgery for treatment of VPI. The study included 39 patients who underwent 1 of 3 velopharyngeal surgical techniques; Furlow palatoplasty (12 patients), pharyngeal flap (18 patients), and sphincter pharyngoplasty (9 patients). The patients were subjected to PSG, and they were considered to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with apnea-hypoapnea index (AHI) >1.
Comparison of PSG parameters of patients showed insignificant difference regarding the total sleep time, sleep efficiency, arousal index, desaturation index, and minimum oxygen saturation. Significant difference was detected regarding peak end-tidal CO2 and AHI. Pharyngeal flap was detected as the most surgical technique that worsened the PSG parameters with OSA in 78% of patients, followed by sphincter pharyngoplasty with OSA in 56% of patients. Furlow palatoplasty was detected as the least impacting technique on the airway in 25% of patients who demonstrated OSA. In conclusion, velopharyngeal surgery has a variable impact on the PSG; pharyngeal flap has the most worsening effect followed by sphincter pharyngoplasty, while Furlow palatoplasty has the least adverse effect.