Fibrin Tissue Sealant as an Adjunct to Cleft Palate Repair

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Fibrin glue is a common tissue sealant used to promote hemostasis, adhere tissues, and accelerate healing. Cleft palate repair can be technically challenging, creating dead space between tissue planes, and can be prone to complications such as would dehiscence or bleeding. The purpose of this study is to assess the role of fibrin glue as an adjunct to cleft palate repair. The authors hypothesize a beneficial impact on complication rates, including bleeding, dehiscence, and fistula formation, among others.


Primary cleft palate repairs using fibrin glue were retrospectively analyzed. Demographic, intraoperative, perioperative, and postoperative data were combed for outcome variables. Complication rates were calculated in percentages and the results were compared to the published literature. Z-test statistics were performed for comparison.


A total of 45 patients, 21 females and 24 males, who underwent primary cleft palate repair with fibrin glue between 2011 and 2014, had sufficient data to be reviewed. There were no instances of bleeding, dehiscence, airway obstruction, infection, oronasal fistula, or return to the operating room in any patients. One patient exhibited mild postoperative coughing and secretions that resolved with conservative measures. Another patient displayed postoperative seizure activity due to a pre-existing condition. All complication rates in our fibrin glue series were lower than those reported without the use of fibrin glue. Overall complication rates with fibrin sealant are significantly lower than overall complication rates without.


Our data suggest that fibrin sealant is a beneficial adjunct to cleft palate repair. Its application is well-tolerated and the complication profile in our cohort was much less than the reported rates. The results of this preliminary study should be vetted with a prospective analysis involving a control group.

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