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Velopharyngeal insufficiency

Willging, J. Paul

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head & Neck Surgery:
Pediatric otolaryngology
Abstract

Purpose of review: Velopharyngeal insufficiency is a niche within our specialty, but patients with hypernasality present who have never been diagnosed previously. Otolaryngologists should be familiar with current trends in diagnosis and treatment of hypernasality.

Recent findings: Velopharyngeal insufficiency has been associated with genetic conditions and identifiable syndromes. Multiple surgical techniques are available for the treatment of this condition, the results of which vary widely in the literature. There is difficulty in interpreting the success of surgical outcomes on speech intelligibility and resonance because of the heterogeneity of the patient population and the subjective nature of assessing results. More studies are now available for the evaluation of associations of comorbid conditions and their impact on speech results.

Summary: Velopharyngeal insufficiency must be diagnosed properly. Syndromes and comorbid conditions must be identified. No single specialty can care appropriately for these patients. A team approach is the ideal method of evaluating and managing patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency. Specialists with a particular interest and training in the management of patients with clefts of the palate and velopharyngeal insufficiency must collaborate to obtain the maximal functional outcome for these patients.

Author Information

Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to J. Paul Willging, MD, Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA

Tel: 513-636-4355; fax: 513-636-8133; e-mail: paul.willging@cchmc.org

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.