Reported here are the result of retrospective study of the speech outcome for 63 cleft subjects who had Furlow repairs compared with 20 subjects who had other procedures. The two groups of children were similar in cleft type, sex, and race. The same two surgeons repaired tile palates in both groups, and the same two speech pathologists with high reliability examined the children at least 5 years postoperatively using the Pittsburgh Weighted Valnes for Speech Symptoms Associated with VPI (velopharyngeal incompetence). Subjects who had had Furlow repairs were superior on measures of hypernasality, articulation, and total speech scores; and fewer pharyngeal flaps were required by Furlow subjects. These findings suggest the need for randomized, double-blind investigations comparing outcome of the Furlow procedure with the iintravelar veloplasty, the V-Y pushback, and other specified procedures.
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