It is not easy to find a management-based classification of palatal fistula in the literature. A few attempts have been made to classify the wide variety of fistulae that do not describe the fistula details comprehensively and guide toward its management. The authors have come across a wide variety of fistulae that could not be classified according to any of the prevailing classification systems. The presented classification gives a clear and exact understanding of location and size of fistula/dehiscence. Palatal function has been included as one of the important determinants for devising a management plan. Based on this classification, the authors have proposed an algorithm that encompasses clear guidelines for surgical treatment of these fistulae.
Over the past 15 years, the authors’ team operated on 2537 palatal fistula patients. The medical records of these patients were reviewed to determine the location, size, and velopharyngeal competence. A new classification and algorithm were developed.
Of 2537 patients, 2258 had midline fistulae, 208 had lateral fistulae, and 53 had subtotal fistulae. There were 18 patients with dehiscence. Recurrence developed in 181 patients.
The authors believe that this classification and algorithm can help follow a practical approach to manage palatal fistulae and dehiscence.
Lahore, Punjab, Karachi, and Peshawar, Pakistan; Taipei, Taiwan; and Stanford, Calif.
From the Services Institute of Medical Sciences; Dow University of Health Sciences; North West Hospital; Jinnah Burns and Reconstructive Surgery Center; Taipei Medical University Hospital; and Stanford University.
Received for publication October 18, 2017; accepted May 25, 2018.
Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.
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Ghulam Qadir Fayyaz, M.B.B.S., D.S.S., M.S., Department of Plastic Surgery, Services Institute of Medical Sciences and CLAPP Hospital, 932-C, Faisal Town, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Lahore, Punjab 54700, Pakistan, firstname.lastname@example.org