The aim of the study was an evaluation of Furlow’s method in correction of velopharyngeal insufficiency. A prospective study was conducted by a speech pathologist and a plastic surgeon. Rating of hypernasality and speech intelligibility were completed prior to and after surgical intervention. Nasometric measurements were also performed before and after surgical intervention. From May 2003 through September 2006, the first author performed 44 Furlow surgeries for the treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency in patients with cleft palate. Patients with short, repaired cleft palates but with preserved normal function of pharyngeal sphincter qualified for the operation. The surgery was performed using double-opposing Z-plasty. The method was used in 24 males and 20 females aged from 6 to 25 years (mean age, 12 years). One patient (2%) developed wound dehiscence, and two further patients (4.5%) developed maceration of the wound margins, which delayed the healing process by only several days. Very good, good, or moderate results were obtained in 41 patients (91%). Poor outcome of treatment—excessive hypernasality or poor speech quality after the operation—was still present in four patients (9%). In our opinion, Furlow’s method is a very useful treatment method in patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency especially with sagittal orientation of levator veli palatini muscles.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2008
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