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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-135

Cleft palate repair in Mongolia: Modified palatoplasty vs. conventional technique

1 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Maternal and Child Health Research Centre, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2 School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University, Mongolia
3 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, Australia

Correspondence Address:
N Ayanga Gongorjav
Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Maternal and Child Health Research Centre, Ulaanbaatar
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DOI: 10.4103/2231-0746.101337

PMID: 23482408

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Context: Cleft palate repair is preferentially completed between 6 and 18 months of age, facilitating essential speech and language development along with swallowing and feeding reflexes, and avoiding otitis media and hearing loss. In Mongolia patients often present in early adulthood for cleft lip and/or palate management. Wider defects are associated with older age groups and have higher rates of fistula formation and wound dehiscence. These complications encouraged a modified surgical technique for improved outcomes. Aims: Objectives of this study were to compare the efficacy of three established palatoplasty techniques with our mongolian technique. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of all palatoplasty cases, in non-syndromic cleft lip and/or palate patients, between January 1992 and November 2008 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia was performed. Exclusion criteria included those suffering from an acute or chronic respiratory illness at presentation or in the recovery period. We compared three established techniques with our modified technique. Outcome measures were duration of surgery, length of hospital stay and fistula rate. Statistical Analysis Used: Discrete data are reported as n (%), while continuous data are summarised as mean΁SD. Differences in demographic, surgical and postoperative data were tested by independent t-test (continuous data) and Fisher's exact test (discrete data). Results: Palatoplasty was performed on 436 patients with an average age of 60 months. The modified palatoplasty technique had reduced surgical time (P value <0.01) and hospital stay (P value <0.01) and a 96% complication free wound recovery, compared with established techniques. Cleft lip and/or palate patients aged 42 months or older were more likely to be from the countryside. Conclusions: 86.9% of patients presenting for cleft palate repair had palatoplasty later than the recommended age. Geographical predilection for children older than six years, were more likely to have cleft palate repair complications. We have shown the modified palatoplasty technique is a more efficient time saving surgical procedure with lower complication rates.

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