Correlation between the age at repair and speech outcome in patients with isolated cleft palate.
[Summary] ((Haapanen, adiposity M. L., physician Rantala, order S. L. (1992) Correlation between the age at repair and speech outcome in patients with isolated cleft palate. Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery, 26(1):71-8))
This assessment of the effect of the age at primary palatal repair on the speech of 3-year old children with isolated cleft palate was carried out by the Cleft Centre, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland, and reported in 1992.
108 children in total were assessed. The mean ages at which palates were repaired were 12.9 months (n=45), 18.5 months (n=18) and 22.1 months (n=45).
The recorded signs of cleft palate speech and speech impairment were hypernasality, audible nasal air emission, and misarticulations associated with velopharyngeal insufficiency.
The results showed that the children who were operated on at the age of about 12 to 18 months were significantly better speakers than those operated on later. Of these, 73% (n=46) were rated as normal or practically normal speakers, while only 22% (n=10) of children whose repairs were delayed until about 22 months achieved the same rating.
Some 41% of the late closure group required secondary surgery to eliminate signs of cleft palate speech associated with velopharyngeal inadequacy. The figure for the early group was 9%, while none of the middle group required secondary surgery.