Cleft palate repair at 3 to 7 months of age

Richard E. Kirschner, Peter Randall, Peter Wang, Abbas F. Jawad, Michael Duran, Kathy Huang, Cynthia Solot, Marilyn Cohen, Don LaRossa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We report the speech outcome in 90 children with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate who underwent soft palate repair either between 3 and 7 months of age (n = 40) or later than 7 months of age (n = 50). In all patients, palatoplasty was performed by one of two experienced surgeons using a modification of the Furlow technique, and speech evaluations were conducted using the Pittsburgh Weighted Values for Speech Symptoms Associated with Velopharyngeal Incompetence by two speech pathologists with high inter-rater reliability. There were no differences between the groups with respect to resonance, nasal air emission, and articulation. Velopharyngeal function, as measured by the total speech score, was similar between the two groups of patients, as were the rates of secondary pharyngoplasty. These results suggest that very early closure of the soft palate may not offer significant benefit over repair later in infancy with respect to speech outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2132
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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