Surgery for speech correction
Being born with a cleft palate need not deter the individual from leading a normal life. Although there are problems associated with being born with cleft of the palate like speech abnormalities and growth inhibition of the upper jaw, yet if the cleft palate is repaired meticulously and at the right age, the speech of the patient is completely normal.
In a small percentage of cases, the speech may be hypernasal and incomprehensible, but that too can be corrected with speech therapy and speech corrective surgery. Here at Richardsons Dental and Craniofacial centre, speech of a patient is given prime importance as it helps in the quality of life of the child to a very large extent.
A young girl named Maya who was a patient of cleft lip and palate came to us complaining that her speech was very nasal and people found it difficult to understand what she’s saying. A speech assessment was done by the institute’s speech pathologist, Mrs.Nikkie Samantha Daniel and a lateral videoflouroscopy was done to ascertain the problem in her palate.
A diagnosis of velopharyngeal incompetence was arrived from the above assesment which denotes that the muscles of the soft palate are inefficient in bringing about a contact with the throat wall causing speech abnormalities. Dr.Sunil Richardson decided to perform a Furlows’s palatoplasty procedure for her to correct the speech problems.
The cleft team was headed by Dr.Sunil Richardson along with asisstant surgeon Dr.Shreya Krishna and specialist anaesthesiologist Dr.Nishal Perumal performed the furlows palatoplasty in 30 mins. The postoperative recovery of the patient was uneventful. There were dietary restrictions for the first two days after which the patient was discharged.
Her speech is stellar now and noone can tell that she ever had a cleft palate deformity or speech problems..listen to her speak and you too shall know!