The role of adenoids in the development of normal speech following palate repair

Laryngoscope. 1988 Mar;98(3):299-303. doi: 10.1288/00005537-198803000-00012.


The controversy surrounding the various approaches to palate repair continues unabated. Issues which have been studied relative to the development of normal speech following palate repair have included surgical technique and the timing of surgery. However, regardless of the various refinements in surgery, a percentage of children require secondary surgery to resolve velopharyngeal insufficiency. To date, other factors which might be responsible for the development of normal speech have been ignored. The purpose of this report is to discuss the importance of the relative size of the adenoids in relation to the success or failure of primary palatoplasty. Velopharyngeal valving in noncleft (normal) children was also observed. Eight hundred fifty children with nonsyndromic clefts and 138 children with syndromic clefts were analyzed for speech results postpalatoplasty relative to adenoid size. One hundred normal children were also studied. The data suggest a strongly positive correlation between the incidence of hypernasal resonance postpalatoplasty and relative adenoid size in the cleft children. Velar-adenoidal closure was consistently observed in both the cleft and normal children.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoids / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cleft Palate / physiopathology
  • Cleft Palate / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Time Factors