Does Contribution of Extended Vomer Flap to Palatoplasty Affects Speech Results

ÇALIŞ M., Ekin O., Kayikci M. E., ICEN M., SÜSLÜ N., Ozgur F.

JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY, vol.25, no.6, pp.1980-1984, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/scs.0000000000001030
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1980-1984
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Development of normal speech is the primary goal of successful palatoplasty. The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of the contribution of vomer flap to palatoplasty procedure for speech function. Eighty-one children who underwent 2 flap palatoplasty procedures for cleft palate repair between 2002 and 2010 were retrospectively reviewed in 3 groups. Group 1 underwent palatoplasty without contribution of vomer flap. Group 2 underwent palatoplasty with standard dissection of vomer flap, whereas group 3 underwent palatoplasty with extended dissection of vomer flap. Speech function of the patients was evaluated using objective assessment tools such as nasopharyngoscopy and nasometer. Eighty-one children who underwent 2 flap palatoplasty were included in this study. The mean age at palatoplasty was 10.17 months, and mean length of follow-up was 72.33 months. For most syllables, patients repaired using extended vomer flap demonstrated lower nasalance scores. Nasopharyngoscopic examination revealed velopharyngeal motility in 24 patients (80%) in group 1 and in 20 (83.3%) and 23 (85.2%) patients in groups 2 and 3, respectively (P = 0.930). In velopharyngeal closure, there were only 5 patients (18.5%) in group 3, whereas there were 6 patients (25.0%) for group 2 and 10 patients (33.3%) for group 1 with no closure (P = 0.311). Although most optimum results were observed in the group with extended dissection of the vomer flap, contribution of the extended vomer flap to the repair of the soft palate did not lead to significantly better speech results.