Authors: Kurnik NM, Weidler EM, Lien KM, Cordero KN, Williams JL, Temkit M, Beals SP, Singh DJ, Sitzman TJ
Title: The Effectiveness of Palate Re-Repair for Treating Velopharyngeal Insufficiency: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Source: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 2020 57(7): 860-871
Year: 2020
Research Design: Systematic Review

Background: Palate re-repair has been proposed as an effective treatment for velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) with a low risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the proportion of patients achieving normal speech resonance following palate re-repair for VPI, the proportion developing OSA, and the criteria for patient selection that are associated with increased effectiveness. Method(s): PubMed, Embase, and Scopus were searched from inception through April 2018 for English language articles evaluating palate re-repair for the treatment of VPI in patients with a repaired cleft palate. Inclusion criteria included reporting of hypernasality, nasal air emission, nasometry, additional VPI surgery, and/or OSA outcomes. Meta-analysis was conducted using random effects models. Risk of bias was assessed regarding criteria for patient selection, blinding of outcome assessors, and validity of speech assessment scale. Result(s): Eighteen studies met inclusion criteria. The incidence of achieving no consistent hypernasality follow palate re-repair was 61% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 44%-75%). The incidence of additional surgery for persistent VPI symptoms was 21% (95% CI: 12%-33%). The incidence of OSA was 28% (95% CI: 13%-49%). Criteria for selecting patients to undergo re-repair varied, with anterior/sagittal position of palatal muscles (33%) and small velopharyngeal gap (22%) being the most common. No specific patient selection criteria led to superior speech outcomes (P =.6572). Conclusion(s): Palate re-repair achieves normal speech resonance in many but not all patients with VPI. Further research is needed to identify the specific examination and imaging findings that predict successful correction of VPI with re-repair.

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