Cleft Lip and Palate

Surgery For Hypernasality Newport Beach

After a cleft palate repair, the space between the palate and the back of the throat may be too large, causing speech to sound hypernasal or congested, and difficult to understand. The cleft palate repair may have healed and scarred over time to become too “short”, with too much space between the end of the palate and the throat, or there may not have been enough tissue there to begin with to create a “long” enough repair to prevent hypernasal speech.

Depending on several factors, different types of repairs and surgeries can be performed to improve hypernasal speech. Some important factors considered include the anatomy of the patient, the movement of the muscles surrounding the palate, and the size of the space between the back of the palate and the throat. Nasal endoscopy and/or radiological swallow study can help elucidate the anatomy and degree of muscle movement to allow for selection of the appropriate surgery. Some examples of surgical repair for hypernasality include the Furlow palatoplasty, pharyngeal flap, sphincter pharyngoplasty, and fat injection. All of these types of repairs require general anesthesia and overnight stay in a hospital for observation.

Please contact us for more information about surgery for hypernasality or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chen.

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