BACKGROUND: Midface retrusion is a common problem in patients with cleft lip and palate owing to the lack of adequate growth of the maxilla. Midface advancement surgery is a definite treatment for midface retrusion; however, the subsequent oropharyngeal airway changes might result in velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) in affected patients. Determining the predictors of VPI beforehand and modifying the surgical procedure would be beneficial. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of 42 patients with cleft lip and palate who underwent orthognathic surgery from 2013 to 2014 was performed. A total of 25 patients met the inclusion criteria and had undergone complete pre- and postsurgery videofluoroscopy, nasopharyngoscopy (NPS), and speech assessment. We compared 2 groups of patients, those who showed NPS finding changes of more than 0.1 (8 patients) and those without changes (17 patients), by measuring the distances of the contact point to the tip of the velum, gap size at maximum closure (MC) and rest, contact area length, lateral wall closure rate, closure velocity, and 2 angles (from the velum to the hard palate and genu) at MC and rest. The amount of maxillary advancement was also recorded. RESULTS: Among the 8 patients with NPS finding changes, 3 underwent Furlow palatoplasty for VPI. No significant difference was found in the amount of maxillary advancement between the groups (5.8 vs 5.7 mm). Significant differences were found in the preoperative gap size at MC and angle at the genu at MC (P = 0.035 and .012). These could be considered as the predictors before surgery. After surgery, a significant difference was found in the contact area, lateral wall closure rate, and gap size at MC (P = 0.005, 0.018, and 0.01). CONCLUSION: Videofluoroscopy is a relatively applicable method of determining dynamic changes in the velum function. By performing videofluoroscopy before midface advancement surgery in patients with cleft lip and palate, we may predict the risk of VPI and consider alternative surgical strategies.
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