A cleft palate (or hole in the roof of the mouth) may occur along with a cleft lip or in isolation. Dr. Bradley believes that the correct timing and proper surgical technique is vital to achieve closure necessary for normal speech. He will work with you, the speech therapist, and otologist (hearing specialist) to make sure the best speech possible is achieved.
CLEFT PALATE OBJECTIVES:
-To complete a layered closure of palate without developing a fistula (or small hole)
-To create a functional soft palate with ability to elevate and block nasal air escape during certain speech sounds.
STATE OF THE ART TECHNIQUES:
Modified Von Langenbeck repair with nasal lining, layered muscle, and oral mucosal repair is used for most cleft palate repairs.
Furlow double opposing Z-plasty technique is used for narrow or submucosal cleft palates.
- When should my child have the cleft palate repaired?
The repair should typically take place between 10-12 months of age.
- Will my child need ear tubes?
Most children with cleft palate require myringotomy (ear) tubes placed during the cleft palate repair to minimize middle ear infection and maximize hearing during the critical language acquisition period.
- How is a palate fistula fixed?
If a small hole develops immediately after cleft palate repair, it usually closes without surgery. Fistulas that remain and cause speech problems should be repaired with a minor, outpatient surgery.