Even though cleft patients have multiple deformities, clear non-nasal speech is the most difficult target to achieve for a craniofacial team.
Speech is created when the muscles of the soft palate form a seal in the throat to create sounds.
Why is speech surgery needed?
In patients with cleft deformity the muscles of the soft palate are malpositioned and thus they cannot produce normal speech. These muscles need to be realigned surgically. It is important to reestablish the normal anatomy of the soft palate at the earliest so that the child can have normal speech. However, the muscles need to be aligned in a specific form and pattern and not randomly. The treatment plan has to be carefully prepared and well executed.
Who requires Speech surgery?
Any patient who has the presence of a fistula in the palate, nasality of voice, failed surgery elsewhere. Age is no bar for getting a speech surgery done or simply put any cleft patient who doesn’t speak like a person without clefts is a candidate who can undergo this type of surgery and treatment and benefit from the same.
Under the umbrella of speech surgeries, many surgeries are included. The most specific type of surgery for the patient will be decided after the consultation based on the investigations.
These Patients are operated under general anaesthesia and require a hospital stay of around 2-3 days . The aim of the surgery is to push the muscles of the soft palate as posterior & inferiorly as possible i.e. downwards & backwards. The patients have almost full recovery post surgery and get back to their normal routine in a couple of days.
It is important that speech surgeries are done at the earliest so that that the muscles can grow and realign in the newer positions however they can be performed at any age as well.
The Investigation modalities needed?
Various investigations need to done on patients who don’t speak clearly and some of them would be
- Lateral Flurovideoscopy
- Nasal Endoscopy
- Speech Recordings
Dr Richardson and his team after initial consultation decide on what investigations are needed for the patient before the correct surgical alternative is embarked upon.
With all the investigative modalities available and the expert services of various specialities including speech and language pathologist and with years of experience and making hundreds of such patients speak normally and clearly,
Why choose us?
We at Richardsons dental and Craniofacial hospital have all the above-mentioned investigation modalities as well as surgeons and speech therapists who are highly trained as well as have lots of experience in this modality. The aim of the surgery is careful reapproximation of the muscles of the soft palate in as normal position as possible. The surgery must always be accompanied by speech therapy for better results.
whatever surgical modality is chosen, the patient will, however, need to undergo dedicated speech therapy in most of the cases. Such a facility is also available for the patients here at Richardson’s Dental and Craniofacial Hospital itself.