Chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) is a recurrent complication, usually found in cleft palate patients.
Conductive hearing loss is the result of the Eustachian tube dysfunction caused by the absence of fusion and the altered insertion of the muscles of the secondary palate. It is also the consequence of an ineffective muscular reconstruction after primary cleft palate repair.
This is a cohort study to compare 4 groups of patients born with isolated cleft lip (ICL), unilateral cleft lip/palate (UCLP), bilateral cleft lip/palate (BCLP), and isolated cleft palate (ICP), received in our hospital between June 2015 to September 2017, operated by the same surgeon, using the same surgical technique and protocol.
Complete cleft palate repair was performed, in average, at 10 months, and placement of ventilation tubes, if necessary, was made in the same operatory act.
After palate repair, primary or secondary hearing loss was checked, joint to the connection with the type of used ventilation tubes, recurrences and complications also were considered.
The study sample was integrated by 69 patients, 2 of 11 patients with ICL (18.18%), 30 of 34 patients with UCLP (88.23%), 17 of 19 patients with BCLP (89.47%), and 4 of 5 patients with ICP (80.00%) were diagnosed with OME requiring ventilation tubes at the time of surgery. It can be established that the average hearing loss in patients with diabolos in the postoperative period is 19.4 db and in those patients with T tubes it is 14.2 db, the difference being statistically significant (P < 0.05).
Hearing improvement prior to language acquisition is essential for a proper speech development. Early trans tympanic tubes implantation during cleft palate repair contributes to a correct short-term ventilation of the middle ear, being the T tubes the best option.