Adult Quality of Life Post Cleft Palate Repair: A Comparison of Two Techniques

Rachel Skladman, Lynn Marty Grames, Gary Skolnick, Dennis C. Nguyen, Sybill D. Naidoo, Kamlesh B. Patel, Jeffrey L. Marsh, Albert S. Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: In 1989, the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal published the first randomized prospective cleft surgery study, comparing the Kriens intravelar veloplasty (IVV) with a non-IVV 2-flap repair. Results in that and follow-up publications yielded no difference between the 2 groups for need for secondary velopharyngeal management. The subjects have now reached adulthood. This study was designed to ask: Is there any difference between the groups in the outcomes that multidisciplinary team care addresses: speech intelligibility, facial growth, breathing while awake and asleep, attainment of education, and long-term socioeconomic status? Methods: Enrollees from the original published study were invited to participate in a survey. Subjects responded to questions about speech therapy and speech satisfaction, additional surgery, breathing patterns, sleep quality/sleep disorder, and dental occlusion. Demographic information, information on education level, profession, and socio-economic status were queried. Student t test and Fisher exact test were used to compare results. Results: Forty-two of the original 200 patients (20 Kriens IVV and 19 non-IVV) chose to participate. Average age at survey was 25±3 years. Analysis yielded no difference between the 2 respondent groups for need for secondary velopharyngeal management. There were no differences in speech outcome and satisfaction (8 questions, 0.30 < P<0.97), sleep concerns (3 questions, 0.16 < P<0.39), and dental occlusion (P=0.69). Equivalent proportions of the 2 groups had been in speech therapy (P=0.22). There was no difference in education attainment of the 2 groups (P=0.26). Conclusions: The original randomized prospective trial suggested that there was no difference between the 2 surgery types in need for secondary velopharyngeal management. This long-term survey study on the same group of patients suggests that in young adulthood, the 2 groups have similar outcomes in terms of education, career choice, speech satisfaction, dental occlusion, and sleep disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-914
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Cleft palate
  • Kriens intravelar veloplasty
  • cleft team
  • non-IVV
  • palatoplasty
  • speech
  • speech therapy
  • velopharyngeal dysfunction
  • velopharyngeal management


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