Palate re-repair revisited

Brian C Sommerlad, Felicity V Mehendale, Malcolm J Birch, Debbie Sell, Caroline Hattee, Kim Harland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To analyze the results of a consecutive series of palate re-repairs performed using the operating microscope and identify predictive factors for outcome.

DESIGN: Prospective data collection, with blind assessment of randomized recordings of speech and velar function on lateral videofluoroscopy and nasendoscopy.

PATIENTS: One hundred twenty-nine consecutive patients with previously repaired cleft palates and symptomatic velopharyngeal incompetence (VPI) and evidence of anterior insertion of the levator veli palatini underwent palate re-repairs by a single surgeon from 1992 to 1998. Syndromic patients, those who had significant additional surgical procedures at the time of re-repair (23 patients), and all patients with inadequate pre- or postoperative speech recordings were excluded, leaving a total of 85 patients in the study.

INTERVENTIONS: Palate re-repairs, with radical dissection and retropositioning of the velar muscles, were performed using the operating microscope with intraoperative grading of anatomical and surgical findings.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pre- and postoperative perceptual speech assessments using the Cleft Audit Protocol for Speech (CAPS) score, measurement of velar function on lateral videofluoroscopy, and assessment of nasendoscopy recordings.

RESULTS: There were significant improvements in hypernasality, nasal emission, and nasal turbulence and measures of velar function on lateral videofluoroscopy, with improvement in the closure ratio, velopharyngeal gap at closure, velar excursion, velar movement angle, and velar velocity.

CONCLUSIONS: Palate re-repair has been shown to be effective in treating VPI following cleft palate repair, both in patients who have not had an intravelar veloplasty and those who have had a previous attempt at muscle dissection and retropositioning. Palate re-repair has a lower morbidity and is more physiological than a pharyngoplasty or pharyngeal flap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2002


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Airway Resistance
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Palate
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Nose
  • Palatal Muscles
  • Palate
  • Palate, Soft
  • Pharynx
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reoperation
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Speech
  • Speech Disorders
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency
  • Video Recording
  • Clinical Trial
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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