Authors: Murthy J, Sendhilnathan S, Hussain SA
Title: Speech outcome following late primary palate repair
Source: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 2010 47(2): 156-161
Year: 2010
Research Design: Case Series

Objective: Early palate repair is recommended to minimize the development of disordered speech. We studied the speech outcome of late palate repair in 131 patients. The success of late palate repair is questioned because of the persistence of learned, compensatory misarticulations that are difficult to correct in spite of the establishment of correct palatal anatomy and a competent velopharyngeal mechanism. The objective of this study is to highlight the speech results following late primary repair of the palate. Settings and Design: Retrospective analysis of speech outcomes in 131 patients with cleft lip and palate who underwent primary palate repair after the age of 10 years between November 2000 and December 2004. None of the patients had received supervised institution-based speech therapy. However, all patients were counseled and oriented and demonstrated the correct place and manner of articulation for the phonemes misarticulated by them. Preoperative and 6- to 12-month postoperative speech samples were assessed within the parameters of articulation, hypernasality, nasal air emission, and speech intelligibility. Outcome: The analysis indicated improvement in all speech parameters leading to an overall improvement in postoperative intelligibility for most patients. Conclusion: Although definite improvement occurs in all parameters of speech following late primary palate repair, residual speech problems persist in most patients, requiring further evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Access: Open Access