Velopharyngeal incompetence after adenotonsillectomy in non-cleft patients

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1996 Oct;34(5):364-7. doi: 10.1016/s0266-4356(96)90088-1.


This report discusses 15 non-cleft palate children who developed velopharyngeal incompetence (VPI) after adenotonsillectomy. Eight boys and 7 girls with a mean age of 6.2 years (range 4.3-11 years) were treated between 1970 and 1993. After 2 years conservative management to allow for spontaneous resolution, only (7 children) 47% achieved normal resonance. Speech therapy was employed mainly for those patients with unrelated articulation errors. Fifty-three percent (8 children) required surgery for persistent hypernasality and in 6 a pharyngoplasty was performed and in one child a posterior pharyngeal cartilage graft was inserted. One case is still to have surgical intervention. Half of the non-cleft children who develop VPI after adenotonsillectomy will respond to conservative management.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy / adverse effects*
  • Articulation Disorders / etiology
  • Articulation Disorders / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pharynx / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Therapy
  • Tonsillectomy / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency / therapy
  • Voice Quality