Late Bleeding Following Cleft Palate Repair: An Under-Reported Finding?

J Craniofac Surg. 2022 Mar-Apr;33(2):607-609. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000008135.


The objective of this article is to assess the incidence of late bleeding following cleft palate repair (palatoplasty) in children. This is a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of patients treated for Cleft Lip and Palate in a tertiary academic pediatric hospital setting over 2 hospitals (Middlemore and Starship Hospitals) under the same multidisciplinary team of the Auckland Regional Cleft and Craniofacial Service, New Zealand. All patients with a diagnosis of Cleft Lip and/or Palate undergoing primary cleft palate repair over an 11 year period until March 2020 were included in the study. Our results found there were 482 patients with a new diagnosis of Cleft Lip and/or Palate from Jan 2009 through to March 2020. Three hundred sixty-six of those patients underwent primary palatoplasty at an average age of 10.5 months (range 8-18 months). The sub-types of cleft palate diagnoses were one-third Veau I, one-third Veau II, and the remaining one-third were Veau III, IV, and submucous cleft palate. One-third were syndromic. A total of 6 patients were re-admitted to hospital after discharge from their primary admission with bleeding from the cleft palate surgical site. Of the 6 patients re-admitted, 5 needed blood transfusions and 4 required an urgent return to the operating room. The authors found the rate of late bleeding following primary cleft palate repair in our unit is 1:61 operations or 1.6%. Late bleeding following cleft palate surgery is not well reported in the literature.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cleft Lip* / surgery
  • Cleft Palate* / surgery
  • Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies