Evaluation and treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency: the University of Florida experience

Ann Plast Surg. 2002 May;48(5):464-70. doi: 10.1097/00000637-200205000-00003.


This retrospective study spans the years 1988 to 2000 and looks specifically at the treatment procedures and outcomes for the correction of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). Ninety-eight patients underwent preoperative assessment by speech pathologists that included perceptual speech evaluation, videofluoroscopy, and, for some, nasendoscopy. Based on this evaluation protocol, a specific surgical procedure was chosen to serve the patients' needs. The four procedures of choice were the palatal pushback with a pharyngeal flap lining, sphincter pharyngoplasty, a superiorly based obturating pharyngeal flap, and Furlow palatoplasty. The criteria for selecting these procedures are reviewed. The results revealed VPI resolution and the establishment of normal nonnasal speech in more than 95% of the 75 patients for whom outcomes were determined. This study reiterates the importance of thorough preoperative evaluation and the individualization of the secondary corrective procedure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cleft Palate / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Palate, Soft / surgery
  • Pharynx / surgery
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Treatment Failure
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency / etiology
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency / surgery*