On the role of the frontal projection in videoradiography of velopharynx in decision-making for a velopharyngeal flap plasty in patients with cleft palate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite uneventful primary surgery, patients with cleft palate may experience velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) and hypernasal speech. Videoradiography of velopharynx is a commonly used method to visualize velopharyngeal function and a velopharyngeal flap is often used to counteract VPI. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the frontal projection on videoradiography plays a role in the decision-making about velopharyngeal flap surgery, or possibly the width and orientation of the flap. A secondary aim was to evaluate the effect of the flap in improving velopharyngeal function. Between 2007 and 2016, 75 patients had received a flap at our department. During the same period of time, 41 patients who had undergone videoradiography did not receive a flap. Medical records, particularly regarding speech assessments, videoradiography statements and operating records, were scrutinised to seek information about the factors leading up to the decision about whether or not to perform a flap. In only one instance, reduced lateral pharyngeal wall movement found on the frontal projection was clearly taken into account when deciding to refrain from performing a velopharyngeal flap. Only a slight agreement was found between pre-operative speech assessment and findings in videoradiography. Hypernasality was reduced by flap surgery in 97% of the patients. We conclude the frontal projection of the videoradiographic examination seems to have no crucial role in the decision-making on performing a velopharyngeal flap or not in patients with cleft palate. Even with reduced lateral pharyngeal wall movement, a velopharyngeal flap effectively reduces hypernasality and VPI.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • Cleft lip and palate, pharyngoplasty, videoradiography
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 May 13
Publication categoryResearch