A Comparison of the Effects of Veau-Wardill-Kilner Palatoplasty and Furlow Double-Opposing Z-Plasty Operations on Eustachian Tube Function

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of VeauWardill-Kilner (VWK) two-flap palatoplasty and Furlow double-opposing Z-plasty operations on eustachian tube (ET) opening in patients with cleft palate (CP).

Design: Twenty-six patients underwent CP repair between 1993 and 1997.

VWK and Furlow operations were used in 13 patients each. All patients were

examined by the otorhinolaryngologist before and after the operations; mean

follow-up time was 27.3 months. Secretory otitis media (SOM), as identified by

tympanograms, was the comparison criterion used.

Results: The prevalence of SOM was 69% (n 5 18) in all CP patients preoperatively. Among those with preoperative SOM, we did not find any statistically significant difference in the frequency of postoperative SOM between

the two techniques.

Conclusion: This study suggests that there is no difference in postoperative

ET function between patients undergoing either VWK or Furlow operations, in

spite of the differences in muscle positioning in these operations. We discuss

the implications of this finding in relation to surgical anatomy and histology

of the soft palate muscles

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