Speech outcome after palatal repair in nonsyndromic versus syndromic robin sequence

Kamlesh B. Patel, Stephen R. Sullivan, Ananth S. Murthy, Eileen Marrinan, John B. Mulliken

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41 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The authors' purpose was to document speech outcome after cleft palate repair in patients with syndromic versus nonsyndromic Robin sequence. Results of secondary correction of velopharyngeal insufficiency using a superiorly based pharyngeal flap or double-opposing Z-palatoplasty are also reported. METHODS: Charts of patients with Robin sequence and cleft palate between 1980 and 2007 were reviewed. Data collected included date of birth, sex, syndrome/association, cleft palatal type (Veau I or II), age at palatoplasty, incidence of palatal fistula, postoperative speech assessment, videofluoroscopic results, need for secondary operation for velopharyngeal insufficiency, and type of secondary operation (pharyngeal flap or double-opposing Z-palatoplasty). RESULTS: The authors identified 140 patients with Robin sequence who had palatal closure. Postoperative speech evaluation was available for 96 patients (69 percent). A syndrome or association was identified in 42 patients (30 percent). Primary palatoplasty was successful in 74 patients (77 percent); speech was characterized as competent and competent to borderline competent. The authors found a significantly higher incidence of velopharyngeal insufficiency following palatal repair for syndromic (38 percent) than nonsyndromic Robin sequence (16 percent). (p = 0.039). In patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency, competent or borderline competent speech was determined after double-opposing Z-palatoplasty (two of five patients) or pharyngeal flap (eight of 10 patients). CONCLUSIONS: The rate of velopharyngeal insufficiency in syndromic Robin sequence is significantly greater than in nonsyndromic Robin sequence. The authors prefer pharyngeal flap for velopharyngeal insufficiency in patients with Robin sequence, whether syndromic or nonsyndromic, without retrognathism or signs/symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Risk, II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578e-585e
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


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