Hard palate-repair technique and facial growth in patients with cleft lip and palate: a systematic review.Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Dec; 51(8):851-7.BJ
The vomer flap technique for repair of the hard palate is assumed to improve maxillary growth because it causes less scarring in growth-sensitive areas of the palate. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the effect of techniques using the vomer flap compared with the palatal flap on facial growth in patients with cleft lip and palate. All papers published before 21 July 2012 were sought in the databases PubMed and MEDLINE. Search terms included "facial growth", "cleft lip and palate", "palatal repair technique", and "vomer flap". Additional studies were identified by hand searching the reference lists of the papers retrieved from the electronic search. Two independent reviewers assessed the eligibility of studies for inclusion, extracted the data, and assessed the quality of the methods. Six studies met the selection criteria. Outcomes assessed in 4 studies were dentofacial morphology after vomer or palatal flap, maxillary dental arch in 1 study, and dental arch relations in 2 studies. The quality of the methods used in 3 studies was poor. Contradictory results and a lack of high-quality and long-term outcomes of reviewed studies provided no conclusive scientific evidence about whether the vomer flap technique has more or less of an adverse effect on maxillary growth than the palatal flap. Further well-designed, well-controlled, and long-term studies particularly of the vomer flap (2-stage) and palatal flap (von Langenbeck or two-flap, 1-stage) are needed.