Anterior Pillarplasty: A Modification in Cleft Palate Repair
After the primary repair of cleft palate, surgeons are frequently confronted with a short soft palate and a wide velopharyngeal space, both of which are known to diminish the quality of speech. We introduce a new modification of the primary repair of cleft palate that lengthens the soft palate and helps to reduce the volume of the velopharyngeal space. Ten patients younger than 12 months with nonsyndromic cleft palate were operated on with this technique. The incision at the cleft margin extended behind the uvula as a modification to the classic design of mucoperiosteal flaps. The sagittally divided mucosal layers of each anterior tonsillar pillar are sutured at the midline 1 cm posterior to the new uvula. The rate of postoperative fistula formation and other complications were evaluated postoperatively. One patient had a uvular and partly pillar detachment at the postoperative period. All other clefts healed without complication. The primary repair of the cleft palate with the anterior pillarplasty technique is a safe and easy-to-perform procedure. This modification can effectively reduce the transverse diameter of the velopharyngeal space and increase the anteroposterior length of the palate.
from the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery