Cleft Palate Fistula Repair Newport Beach
After cleft palate repair, there can be a 10 to 23% fistula rate, where an opening develops in the repair. Asymptomatic fistulas causing no problems are usually observed. Symptomatic fistulas where food or liquid travels from the mouth to the nose through the palate opening may require fistula repair, depending on its severity. Palate fistulas occur more frequently in patients with wider cleft palates. The most common location for these fistulas is at the junction of the soft and hard palate, where the repair typically has the most tension.
Many types of palate fistula repairs have been described, from redoing entirely the cleft palate repair to using local and regional flaps to cover the opening, depending on the size and location of the fistula.
Like cleft palate repairs, palate fistula repairs require general anesthesia and may last two or more hours, depending on the severity of the palate fistula and the complexity of the repair. Patients usually stay two nights in the hospital, with close airway monitoring during the first night.