Easy closure of anterior palatal fistula with local flaps.J Craniofac Surg. 2010 Jan; 21(1):229-32.JC
Anterior palatal fistula is often observed in the treatment of the cleft palate with a push-back palatoplasty. High rate of incomplete closure is reported. We describe a reliable new technique with reverse local flaps to close an anterior palatal fistula.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
One hundred seventeen cleft patients, treated with push-back palatoplasty, underwent repair of an anterior palatal fistula by our group. Fistulas were located in the anterior hard palate, with a variable size between 0.1 cm to more than 0.5 cm. Two reverse local flaps from the nasal mucosa of the lateral palatal edges are used to close the fistula. A third flap is elevated from the premaxilla in bilateral clefts. The flaps are elevated toward the center of the fistula. The closure is made in 2 layers for unilateral cleft and in 3 layers for bilateral cleft, using absorbable sutures.
Complete closure of the anterior palatal fistula was achieved in 77 patients (65%) after the first surgery, 27 patients (23%) required a second attempt to close the fistula, and 10 patients (8.5%) required a third surgery. Three patients (2.5%) continued to have a fistula after 5 surgeries.
We believe that our method is reliable and easy to perform, and it has a high success rate. The technique is indicated to correct small- to medium-size defects.