An effect comparison between Furlow double opposing Z-plasty and two-flap palatoplasty on velopharyngeal closure.Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2012; 41(5):604-11IJ
The aim of this study was to compare velopharyngeal closure between patients who underwent Furlow palatoplasty and two-flap palatoplasty. A retrospective review of 88 patients with incomplete palate cleft was performed. 48 patients (17 males; 31 females) aged 2-28 years received Furlow palatoplasty. 40 patients (17 males; 23 females) aged 2-21 years received two-flap palatoplasty. Velopharyngeal function was categorized as adequate, marginal or inadequate. Complications associated with the operation were documented. Statistically significant differences were not found amongst sex distribution, age at operation, follow-up time, and preoperative speech intelligibility. After primary repairs using Furlow and two-flap palatoplasty, the surgeon's incidence of postoperative palatal fistula was 0%. The complications were not significantly different between the two groups. The authors achieved the lowest reported incidence of postoperative palatal fistulas in primary Furlow palatoplasty. The outcomes of the velopharyngeal closure were better in patients who received Furlow palatoplasty (P<0.05). Furlow palatoplasty was more effective than two-flap palatoplasty in obtaining perfect velopharyngeal closure. A probable explanation may be that Furlow palatoplasty can reposition and overlap the divergent palatal muscle and lengthen the soft palate.