Skip Navigation LinksHome > December 2003 - Volume 11 - Issue 6 > Velopharyngeal insufficiency
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head & Neck Surgery:
Pediatric otolaryngology

Velopharyngeal insufficiency

Willging, J. Paul

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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.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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