A 10-year review of 39 patients who underwent a superiorly based pharyngeal flap for severe velopharyngeal insufficiency was performed. The effectiveness of the operation, as scored by standardized preoperative and postoperative evaluations, was related to age at operation, type of defect, and duration of velopharyngeal inadequacy. There was no statistical difference between those who were under the age of 6 years (100 percent were improved) at the time of the operation versus those 6 years and older (74 percent improved). Likewise, there was no difference between those patients who received an early flap (92 percent were improved) versus those who received a flap 2 or more years after initial palatorrhaphy (90 percent were improved). The type of palatal defect also was not a significant factor, and none of the patients exhibited a postoperative decrease in function (p ≤ 0.001). The operation offered reliable salvage of velopharyngeal competency regardless of the above-mentioned factors.
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