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Orthognathic Consequences of Sphincter Pharyngoplasty in Cleft Patients: A 2-Institutional Study.

  • Author(s): Yoshikane, Frances;
  • Lai, Li Han;
  • Hui, Brian K;
  • Martins, Deborah B;
  • Farias-Eisner, Gina;
  • Mandelbaum, Rachel S;
  • Hoang, Han;
  • Bradley, James P;
  • Wilson, Libby;
  • Lee, Justine C
  • et al.


Understanding long-term sequelae of cleft treatment is paramount in the refinement of treatment algorithms to accomplish optimized immediate and long-term outcomes. In this study, we reviewed sphincter pharyngoplasties as a method of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) treatment in relationship to orthognathic surgery.


Cleft lip/palate and cleft palate patients, 15 years of age and older, were reviewed for demographics, VPI surgery, revisions, and subsequent orthognathic surgery at 2 institutions. Chi-square test, Student's t test, and logistic regression analyses were performed.


In 214 patients reviewed (mean age, 19.5 years), 61.7% were male, 18.2% had isolated cleft palate, 61.2% had unilateral cleft lip and palate, and 20.6% had bilateral cleft lip and palate. A total of 33.6% were diagnosed with VPI and received a sphincter pharyngoplasty (mean age, 11.9 years). When subsequent orthognathic surgery was examined, sphincter pharyngoplasty was not associated with maxillary advancement (P = 0.59) but did correlate with an increase in mandibular surgery from 2.8% to 11.1% (P = 0.02). The indications for mandibular surgery in the pharyngoplasty population were related to congenital micrognathia. When cephalometric analyses were evaluated, sphincter pharyngoplasty resulted in a decreased sella-to-nasion-to-B point angle (mean, 79.0-76.3 degrees, P = 0.02) and a higher incidence of normal to class II maxillomandibular relationships as defined by A point-to-nasion-to-B point angles >0.5 (P = 0.02).


Sphincter pharyngoplasty decreases anterior mandibular growth and the discrepancy between maxillomandibular skeletal relationships because of the frequent predisposition of cleft patients to maxillary hypoplasia. In patients with congenital mandibular micrognathia, a small increase in mandibular surgeries may occur.

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