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DESCRIPTION OF SURGERY from DR. DUDLEY

Hi Dr. Hirt,
Typically repair of a cleft palate is accomplished by one of two methods.
The first method is a “hinge flap” of mucosa from the hard palate that is rotated over the defect much like closing a door. It is then sutured to the mucosa of the opposite side. This is sometimes referred to as a “Modified Howard” Technique.
The second method is creating a bipedicle advancement flap of palate mucosa on each side of the defect. These are then moved over the defect and sutured together. The is referred to as a “Von Langenbeck” Technique.

Either method is equally effective. The size and location of the defect, as well as personal preference, dictates which method is employed. The soft palate defect can typically be apposed primarily, but similar reconstruction options are sometimes necessary as well. Long term prognosis tends to be quite good for return to normal function.

Hope this helps.

Robert Dudley DVM, MS, DACVS
rdudley@medvetohio.