Authors: Cantarella G, Mazzola RF, Mantovani M, Baracca G, Pignataro L
Title: Treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency by pharyngeal and velar fat injections
Source: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 2011 145(3): 401-403
Year: 2011
Research Design: Case Series

The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness of fat injections in the treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). The study involved 10 patients (6 adults aged 19-48 years and 4 children aged 5-13 years) with mild/moderate VPI who were injected with 3.5 to 8 mL of fat in the posterior, lateral pharyngeal walls and soft palate under general anaesthesia. A second fat-grafting procedure was performed in 2 patients to achieve further improvement. Nasoendoscopy revealed a reduction in the closure gap in all patients, and the perceptual evaluation demonstrated improved speech intelligibility and resonance and reduced nasal air leakage in all cases (P < .005). The aerodynamic assessment showed a significant reduction in nasal airflow during phonation (P < .05). Follow-up was 6 to 23 months. In conclusion, fat injections improved voice resonance and reduced nasal air escape in all treated cases and can be a promising alternative to major procedures, such as velopharyngoplasties, for the treatment of mild/moderate VPI.

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