Cleft palate is the most common congenital craniofacial anomaly all over the world. These defects when not repaired can cause difficulties in feeding, speech and other problems. Especially the cleft palate patients are more prone to the development of respiratory and ear infections. The timing of repair is the essential parameter to be followed during palate repair. Repair of the cleft palate should be done after the baby attains 10 months of age.
The cleft palate repair procedure
Surgical repair done at this age helps to correctly reapproximate the muscles of the palate, thus it helps the patients in overcoming any speech difficulties that would arise due to the anomalous arrangement of the muscles in this condition. These patients are sent for speech assessment after attaining 3 years of age and speech therapy is given if needed.
Von langenbeck’s technique is the most common and popular method for the repair of the palate. It involves the development of flaps based on greater palatine neurovascular bundle bilaterally followed by closing the defect in a layered manner i.e nasal layer followed by oral layer.
One baby with a cleft of the soft palate and uvula reported to our hospital (Richardson’s dental &craniofacial hospital). She also had a submucous cleft at the junction of the hard and soft palate. The defect was repaired by von langenbeck’s technique. Lateral releasing incisions were given and flaps were developed based on the greater palatine neurovascular bundle. Dissection was done to repair the defect in layers. Ample reapproximation of both nasal and oral layers was achieved after suturing.
All types of surgical procedures for repair of cleft lip, palate deformities, secondary revision surgeries, speech surgeries and speech therapy for cleft patients are being done at Richardson’s dental & craniofacial hospital by Dr.Sunil Richardson and his team.