Management of Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Using Double Opposing Z-Plasty in Patients Undergoing Primary Two-Flap Palatoplasty
One-hundred and six cases of soft palate closure using the Furlow double-reversing Z-plasty technique have been reported. Most of these patients have been done in the past 2 years. There seem to be a number of worthwhile advantages to this procedure, with few disadvantages or complications. The operation is adaptable for use in early soft palate closure (3 to 6 months) as well as late closure (12 to 14 months), in submucosal clefts, as well as in secondary palatal repair where lengthening and repositioning of the levator muscle is desired. With this type of palatoplasty, the need for raising or shifting large mucoperiosteal flaps from the hard palate has been completely avoided. The operation can be combined with a primary posterior pharyngeal flap if desired, although this is not advised if early palatal closure (3 to 6 months) is used because of a high incidence of sleep apnea. Preliminary speech results are very encouraging.