This cohort study aimed to assess how age at repair affects outcomes in nonsyndromic patients with and without Robin Sequence using a national database of commercial healthcare claims.
Children under 4 years of age undergoing palatoplasty were identified in the IBM MarketScan Commercial Database based on ICD-9-CM and CPT procedure codes. They were divided into Robin and non-Robin cleft palate groups, and further divided by time of initial cleft palate repair: Robin Sequence into 2 groups: age ≤10 months or >10 months; non-Robin cleft palate into 3 groups: age ≤10 months, >10–14 months, or >14 months age. Time to cleft palate revision within each group was assessed using Cox proportional-hazard models.
A total of 261 patients with Robin Sequence and 3046 with non-Robin cleft palate were identified. In patients with Robin, later repair was associated with decreased risk of secondary procedures compared with early repair (Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.19, 95%CI 0.09–0.39, P < 0.001). In patients with non-Robin cleft palate, decreased risk of revision compared to early repair was associated both with repair at >10–14 months (adjusted HR 0.40, 95%CI 0.31–0.52, P < 0.001) and > 14 months (adjusted HR 0.71, 95%CI 0.57–0.88, P = 0.002). Adjusting for timing of repair, patients with non-Robin cleft palate were at significantly increased risk of secondary procedure if diagnosed with failure to thrive or anemia in the 30 days prior to palatoplasty.
In patients with and without Robin sequence, cleft palate repair at or before 10 months of age was associated with higher risk for secondary procedures.