Comparison of speech results after Furlow palatoplasty and von Langenbeck palatoplasty in incomplete cleft of the secondary palate.

C. C. Yu, P. K. Chen, Y. R. Chen

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BACKGROUND: Due to many confounding factors, it is not easy to answer which method of cleft repair is superior to others. The purpose of this study is to try to compare the treatment result of different types of palatoplasty in patients who had the same cleft type and same treatment protocol besides the method of cleft repair. We selected nonsyndromic patients with incomplete cleft of the secondary palate. The speech results after the two palatoplasties were compared. METHODS: Ninety-six children with nonsyndromic incomplete clefts of the secondary palate who received palatoplasty at the Craniofacial Center of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from 1989 to 1997 were studied. Forty-six patients received Furlow palatoplasty and 50 patients received von Langenbeck palatoplasty. Velopharyngeal function was evaluated by speech pathologists periodically after the patient was two and half years old. Adequacy of velopharyngeal function was used as a measurement of speech outcome. RESULTS: The Furlow palatoplasty group showed excellent results with 98% (45/46) adequacy in velopharyngeal function. In the von Langenbeck palatoplasty group, only 70% (35/50) of the patients had adequate velopharyngeal function. Statistical analysis with Fisher's exact test showed a significant difference (p < 0.0001, p < 0.05). Only one patient had an oronasal fistula after Furlow palatoplasty. After von Langenbeck palatoplasty, one patient had an oronasal fistula and one had wound dehiscence. CONCLUSION: In this study, there was a better speech outcome after Furlow palatoplasty than von Langenbeck palatoplasty for repair of incomplete cleft of the secondary palate. Also, the number of complications after a Furlow palatoplasty was low. It should be a recommended treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-632
Number of pages5
JournalChang Gung Medical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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