Objective: To evaluate the incidence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in patients with cleft palate having a Furlow palatoplasty or pharyngeal flap for correction of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). Patients: A total of 48 nonsyndromic children with repaired cleft palate with VPI were enrolled in the study. Twenty of the children had a Furlow palatoplasty (F group) and 28 children had a pharyngeal flap (P group) for correction of VPI. Interventions: An overnight polysomnography evaluation was done to evaluate the incidence and severity of OSAS 6 months or more postoperatively. Main Outcome Measures: Symptoms of OSAS, respiratory disturbance index (RDI), oxyhemoglobin desaturation index (DI), and sleep stages were measured. Results: In the P group, the mean percentage of stage 2 sleep was lower than the F group (p < .05). The mean RDI and DI were larger in the P group, compared with the F group (p < .001). The incidence and severity of OSAS were higher in the P group, compared with the F group (p < .001 and p = 0.05, respectively). Conclusions: A Furlow palatoplasty should be used in deference to a pharyngeal flap whenever possible on the basis of the preoperative evaluation of VPI because of the decreased incidence and severity of OSAS.
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