Double-Opposing Z-Palatoplasty for Secondary Surgical Management of Velopharyngeal Incompetence in the Absence of a Primary Furlow Palatoplasty

Chim, H.; Eshraghi, Y.; Iamphongsai, S.; Gosain, A. K.

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2014 Sep 23; 52(5):517-24


OBJECTIVE: The present study was performed to identify factors that lead to a favorable outcome of postpalatoplasty velopharyngeal incompetence using the double-opposing Z-palatoplasty. DESIGN: A retrospective analysis was performed on 23 consecutive nonsyndromic patients who underwent secondary surgical management of velopharyngeal incompetence using a double-opposing Z-palatoplasty technique following primary, non-Furlow palatoplasty for overt cleft palate. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All subjects were evaluated preoperatively using a perceptual speech assessment scale, nasendoscopy, and videofluoroscopy. Inclusion criteria consisted of a velopharyngeal gap of 9 mm or less on phonation. Patients were followed with perceptual speech assessment for at least 1 year following secondary surgery. RESULTS: The perceptual speech assessment score for all patients decreased from 6.48 +/- 2.26 (mean +/- standard deviation; range, 3 to 11) to 1.90 +/- 1.51 (range, 0 to 6) at 6 months or more postoperatively (P < .0001). Of the 21 patients with follow-up data 1 year or more post-op, 16 (76%) achieved velopharyngeal competence and five (24%) had borderline competence. Preoperative assessment factors associated with compromised outcome included a large velopharyngeal gap of 7 to 9 mm, poor lateral wall motion of 40% or less, and an elevated perceptual speech assessment score. CONCLUSION: Double-opposing Z-palatoplasty is a surgical technique that can be used successfully to correct velopharyngeal incompetence in selected secondary palatoplasty patients. This technique permits correction of velopharyngeal incompetence and restoration of the velopharyngeal mechanism irrespective of prior intravelar veloplasty and without accompanying loss in the nasal airway. Preoperative assessment can better identify those patients who are less likely to achieve velopharyngeal competence following double-opposing Z-palatoplasty alone.

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