Authors: Birch AL, Jordan ZV, Ferguson LM, Kelly CB, Boorman JG
Title: Speech Outcomes Following Orticochea Pharyngoplasty in Patients With History of Cleft Palate and Noncleft Velopharyngeal Dysfunction
Source: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 2022 59(3): 277-290
Year: 2022
Research Design: Case Series

OBJECTIVE: To report speech outcomes following Orticochea pharyngoplasty in 43 patients with cleft palate and noncleft velopharyngeal dysfunction. DESIGN: A retrospective surgical audit of patients undergoing Orticochea pharyngoplasty between 2004 and 2012, with speech as a primary outcome measure. SETTING: Patients known to a regional UK cleft center. METHODS: Forty-three patients underwent Orticochea pharyngoplasty by a single surgeon in a UK regional cleft center. Twenty-one patients had undergone a prior procedure for velopharyngeal dysfunction. Pre- and postoperative speech samples were assessed blindly using the Cleft Audit Protocol for Speech-Augmented by a specialist cleft speech and language therapist, external to the team. Speech samples were rated on the following parameters: hypernasality, hyponasality, audible nasal emission, nasal, turbulence, and passive cleft speech characteristics. Statistical differences in pre- and postoperative speech scores were tested using the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test. Inter- and intrareliability scores were calculated using weighted Cohen kappa. RESULTS: Whole group: A statistically significant difference in pre- and postoperative scores for hypernasality (P < .001), hyponasality (P < .05), nasal emission (P < .01), and passive cleft speech characteristics (P < .01) were reported. Patients with cleft diagnoses: A statistically significant difference in scores for hypernasality (P < .001), nasal emission (P < .01), and passive cleft speech characteristics (P < .01) were reported for this group of patients. Patients with noncleft diagnoses: The only parameter to demonstrate a statistically significant difference was hypernasality (P < .01) in this group. CONCLUSIONS: Orticochea pharyngoplasty is a successful surgical procedure in treating velopharyngeal dysfunction in both the cleft and noncleft populations.

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