Repair of Palatal Fistula in a child
The human body has multiple entrances and exits – the mouth for eating, the nose for breathing and so on. But at times, some abnormal roads and communications could form and as a result, what should go from the mouth to stomach, goes from mouth to nose. The palatal fistula repair is the challenging problem in cleft surgery.
What is Fistula?
Such abnormal communications are called Fistula. This could be due to birth, trauma, surgery or all of them together. In patients with cleft lip and palate, there is abnormal communication between the mouth and the nose. This causes nasal regurgitation, of food taken through the mouth as it goes into the nose. it also affects speech and swallowing. this defects occur by birth and surgically treated early in life. this ensures that the child eats and speaks normally. Richardsons hospital specializes in Cleft lip and palate surgeries.
What was the patient’s story?
This is the story of a patient who was operated for cleft lip and palate at an early age. The patient now complained of a hole in the palate. There was a nasal regurgitation of fluids and problems in speech. It also causes bad breath, badly decayed teeth, and sinus infections. This was a complication of first Cleft palate repair.
palatal fistula repair Challenge?
Such Fistulas are a challenge to repair. We at Richardsons Cleft and Craniofacial Centre, have treated many such patients. We took this patient for surgical repair of the hole in the palate, which was a brief operation. The patient was followed up and had no complaints of any nasal regurgitation, later.
Cleft Lip and Palate is a multifactorial problem where the patient has to go multiple operations. This puts pressure on the poor patient. Since the defect is right from birth, it affects the patient physically and psychologically. Such abnormal eating can lead to serious malnutrition if repair gets delayed.
Palatal Fistula could occur due to other causes such as simple extraction gone wrong. In this case, the communication can form between the oral cavity and the sinuses. Sometimes in cases of trauma or cancer treated patients, these chronic communications can form. One should consult a face surgeon for treatment of such problems.