Long-term mid-facial growth of patients with a unilateral complete cleft of lip, alveolus and palate treated by two-stage palatoplasty: cephalometric analysis
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the pharyngeal flap procedure on the frequency of Le Fort I osteotomies in full-grown nonsyndromic cleft patients. A retrospective review of 508 full-grown cleft patients born between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1992 was performed. Following data analysis, 140 males older than 18 years and 111 females over the age of 16 years were included. 69 of the 251 included cleft patients required pharyngeal flap surgery (27.5%). Revision flap surgery was performed in 17.4% of the cases. A significantly lower age at time of the initial pharyngeal flap procedure was found in patients requiring revision surgery (5.6 years versus 6.8 years). The frequency of Le Fort I osteotomies was significantly higher in the patients with a pharyngeal flap (19%) compared to those without (8%) (p<0.05). The results of this study point towards the pharyngeal flap procedure being one of the possible limiting factors for maxillary antero-posterior growth in cleft patients.