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Early outcomes of cleft and palatal width following anterior palate repair (vomerine flap) in infants with wide cleft lip and palate

  • Received : 2019.02.20
  • Accepted : 2019.09.24
  • Published : 2019.11.15

Abstract

Background Anterior palatal repair performed during cleft lip repair using a vomerine flap may assist in recruiting additional soft tissue for subsequent completion of palatoplasty, especially in patients with a wide cleft. We present our early results in the hope of triggering a re-evaluation of this technique regarding its advantages for maxillary growth through further studies of patients with a wide cleft. Methods A retrospective analysis of patients with complete unilateral and bilateral cleft lip and palate was performed, including cleft and palatal measurements taken during initial surgery (lip repair together with anterior palate repair) and upon completion of palatoplasty. Results In total, 14 patients were included in this study, of whom nine (63.3%) had unilateral cleft lip and palate and five (37.5%) had bilateral cleft. All patients had a wide cleft palate. Lip and anterior palate repair was done at a median age of 3 months, while completion of palatoplasty was done at a median age of 10.5 months. Measurements taken upon completion of palatoplasty showed significant cleft width reduction in the mid-palate and intertubercle regions; however, the palatal arch distances at nearby landmarks showed non-significant marginal changes. Conclusions Anterior palate repair using a vomerine flap significantly reduced the remaining cleft width, while the palatal width remained. Further research is warranted to explore the long-term effects of this technique in wide cleft patients in terms of facial growth.

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