Review of the Surgical Therapy of Cleft palateDr. Mahdi Hameed AboodConsultant Plastic Surgeon
The goals of treatment for cleft palate are to ensure the child's ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe and to achieve a normal facial appearance Treatment involves surgeryto repair the defect and therapies to improve any related conditions.
The first recorded operation on a palate was performed in 500 AD for inflammation of the uvula. For centuries, literature and interest in clefts were lacking because the deformity was thought to be due to syphilis.
Pare first described the use of obturatorsfor palatal perforations in 1564. In 1552,Jacques Houllier proposed that the cleft edges be sutured together. , it was not until 1764that LeMonnier, a French dentist, performed the first successful repair of a cleft velum.
Dieffenbachclosed both the hard palate and the soft palate in 1834.VonLangenbeck first described cleft palate closures with the use of mucoperiosteal flaps in 1861.In 1868, Billroth thought that fracturing the hamuluswould enable better outcomes in surgery.Further modifications of the von Langenbeck technique came from Gillies, Fry, Kilner, Wardill, Veau, and Dorrance.The debate over the timing of closure led to a short break in early surgical repair.However, in 1944, Schweckendiek again began closing cleft defects in young patients.
General agreement exists that surgical correction of a cleft palate should be accomplished when patients are younger than 1 year, before significant speech development occurs. The potential benefits of an intact velum as a child begins to speak are believed to outweigh the possible complications of early closure, namely later collapse of the maxillary arch with a resultant crossbite..Generally, 1-stage closure of the soft palate and/or the hard palate can be accomplished when the patient is aged 11-12 months. However, some advocate a 2-stage closure, with repair of the velum (soft palate) when the patient is aged 3-4 months. This procedure results innarrowing of the hard palate cleft,facilitating closure at a later date, usually when the patient is aged 18 months
When a submucous cleft is present, the indications for surgery concern velar competence. Often, the decision to repair a submucous cleft palate is deferred until the patient is aged 4-5 years, when speech development is sufficient to determine the degree of hypernasality and the effect of the cleft on intelligibility. Cleft repair at this age may involve a pharyngeal flap, depending on the amount of velopharyngeal incompetence present. When cleft palate repair is deferred to later childhood or adulthood, repair often involves a pharyngeal flap. Incorporating a pharyngeal flap into the repair can help close a large defect and compensate for velopharyngeal dysfunction and speech problems.
The goal of repair in patients with cleft palate is to separate the oral and nasal cavities; this separation involves the formation of a valve that is both watertightand airtight. The valve is necessary for normal speech. The repair also helps with the preservation of facial growth and the development of proper dentition.
Three factors that are considered necessary for satisfactory function of the soft palate for speech are adequate length, adequate mobility, andconformity of the dorsal surface to the pharyngeal wall. Most surgeons include levator muscle complex reconstitution as part of palate repair. Reconstruction of the muscle sling appears more important than anatomical retropositioning in terms of obtaining a dynamic functioning levator sling. However, not all surgical teams have accepted intravelarveloplasty
To repair a cleft palate. rebuild the palate, joining muscle together and providing enough length in the palate so the child can eat and learn to speak properly.
VonLangenbeck techniqueFirst described in 1861, the von Langenbeck technique underscores the importance of separating the oral and nasal cavities. Virtually every repair performed today incorporates principles initially included in this technique. Bipedicle mucoperiosteal flaps of both the hard palate and the soft palate are used to repair the defect. After their elevation, the flaps are advanced medially to close the palatal cleft. Advantages of this technique include less dissection and its simplicity. A disadvantage of the von Langenbeck repair is that it does not increase the length of the palate, which results in an inability to close primary and secondary clefts.
The von Langenbeck repair. Two bipediclemucoperiosteal flaps are created by incising along the oral side of the cleft edges and along the posterior alveolar ridge from the maxillary tuberosities to the anterior level of the
Palatal lengthening - V-Y pushbackThree-flap/V-Y (Wardill-Kilner-Veau) techniqueVeau's protocol for closure of cleft palate stressed the need for (1) closure of the nasal layer separately, (2) fracture of the hamular process, (3) staged palatal repair following primary lip and vomer flap closure, and (4) creation of palatal flaps based on a vascular pedicle.Kilnerand Wardill devised a technique of palatal repair in 1937 that was more radical than Veau's and that ultimately became the V-Y pushback. It includeslateral relaxing incisions, bilateral flaps based on greater palatine vessels,closure of the nasal mucosa in a separate layer, fracture of the hamulus, separate muscle closure, and V-Y palatal lengthening.
Three-flap/V-Y (Wardill-Kilner-Veau) technique This technique is primarily used for repair of incomplete clefts or clefts of the secondary palate.The incisive foramen is the anterior border of the repair, and the uvula is completely divided posteriorly. The theoretical advantage of this technique is thatpushing back the flaps adds length to the palate. This length is difficult to achieve without incising the nasal layer of the repair.With the healing the palate mucous membrane tend to return to its original position because there is no corresponding lengthening of the nasal membrane to maintain the lengthened velum.
Lengthening of nasal liningZ- Plasty of the nasal mucous membrane(Randall Champion 1957)Split- skin graft( Hamilton Baxter 1942)Buccal mucosal graft(Richard C. Webster 1949)Sliding nasal mucosa (Thomas D. Cronin 1957)Nasal Mucosa Transposition ( David B. Stark 1963)ATurnover flap from hard palate (Edgerton 1962)Vomer flaps turned posteriorly based two long narrow mucoperiosteal Vomer flap (Charles Horton ,Irish, Adamson and Mladick 1973)Cheek Flaps( Murari Mohan Mukherji 1969)Others
The 4-flap technique is similar to the Wardill-Kilner 3-flap technique, except the oblique incisions are more posterior to create 4 unipedicle flaps. The flaps are again mobilized medially and closed. These pushback techniques achieve greater immediate palatal length but at the cost of creating a larger area of denuded palatal bone anterolaterally. The gain in the length of the palate has not been demonstrated to be permanent or translated to improve velopharyngeal function. This approach has been associated with a higher incidence of fistula formation.
Two-flap palatoplastyBardachand Salyer independently modified the 2-flap palatoplasty to combine elements of other operations with some innovative details. The main goals are complete closure of the entire cleft without tension minimal exposure of raw bony surfaces and the creation of a functioning soft palate. The 2-flap technique involves 2 posteriorly based flaps that extend the length of the defect. The flaps are rotated medially to close the defecThe flaps are rotated medially to close the defect. This method is the most common technique used for closing complete clefts. No additional length is available for closure of any alveolar defect with this type of repair. An advantage of this method is that the incidence of posterior fistula is low. The authors believe that a muscle sling within the soft palate, not velar lengthening,is essential to adequate speech.
Two flap palatoplasty. After lateral relaxing incisions are performed, bilateral flaps are elevated based on greater palatine vessels. Closure of the nasal mucosa is performed. The hamulus may be fractured, the muscle is repaired, and the oral mucosa is closed as a separate layer.
Velar closure - Delayed hard palate closureSchweckendiek (Zurich) approachIn the 1950s, Schweckendiek began to repair clefts in a staged fashion. In this technique, the soft palate is first repaired when the patient is young (typically 3-4 mo), and this is followed with hard palate closure when they are nearly 18 months,but it may be delayed until the patient is 4-5 years. Perko's approach of 2-stage palatal closure. Repair of the soft palate occurs at age 18 months and of the hard palate at 5-8 years.Perko found that the remaining cleft in the hard palate does not disturb speech development to a relevant degree
Velar closure - Delayed hard palate closure Schweckendiek (Zurich approach) technique In the interim, an obturator is used to allow swallowing and speech. This technique has the advantages of achieving closure when the patients are young and causing minimal disturbance of facial growth. Longer delays (ie, until primary dentition is established) were believed to be advantageous in that they prevented lateral contraction of the palatal arch.Collapse of the maxillary arch is now dealt with by means of palatal expansion when the patient is young. However, the disadvantages include the need for additional operations; the resultant speech disorders that cannot be easily managed; and the need for frequent changing of the dental prosthesis, which can be expensive. .
Schweckendiek (Zurich approach) technique Several long-term assessments of patients who undergo the Schweckendiek approach or the Zurich approach (as described by Perko) disclosed an unusually high incidence of short palate and poor mobility of the soft palate, with a correspondingly high degree of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). Conversely, facial growth was judged
Intravelar veloplasty Several studies have emphasized the necessity of realignment of the muscle in the soft palate. The stratagem was designed to lengthen the palate as well as to restore the muscular sling of the levator veli palatini. Improved velopharyngeal function was sporadically reported. Marsh et al conducted a prospective study of the effectiveness of primary intravelar veloplasty and found no significant improvement in velopharyngeal function.
Double reverse z-plastyIn 1986, Furlowdescribed a technique to lengthen the velum and to create a functioning levator muscle sling. This method is difficult to perform in wide clefts. However, it is considered a good method when the cleft is narrow or if a submucous cleft exists. The technique involves opposing z-plasties of the mucosa and the musculature of the soft palate. The goal is to separate the nonfunctioning attachmentsto the posterior border of the hard palate and to displace the mucosa and the musculature posteriorly.
Double-opposing Z-plasties.Furlow'ssingle-stage palatal closure technique consisting of double opposing Z-plasties from the oral and nasal surfaces. The double Z-plastyminimizes the need for lateral relaxing incisions to accomplish closure. Furlow's technique appears to be quite successful in clefts of limited size. In moderate-size clefts, lateral relaxing incisions may still be required to obtain closure.The palate is lengthened as a consequence of the new position of the velar and pharyngeal tissues.improvement in speech development.