Non routine use of alveolar incision in Von Langenbeck technique palatoplasty in children; a safe and viable technique in our centre


  • Philemon E. Okoro Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Benjamin M. Kejeh Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria



Children, Cleft palate, Lateral incision, Outcome, Palatoplasty, von Langenbeck


Background: Repair of the palate is among the challenging reconstructive surgeries in children. No single technique has achieved completely satisfactory results. The von Langenbeck technique (VLT) is one of the techniques in common use. We have sort to find out if the lateral alveolar incision in VLT can be safely avoided in selected cases.

Methods: This is a prospective comparative study of cases of isolated unilateral cleft palate in children 18 years and below which were repaired using the VLT with and without lateral alveolar incision in our centre between January 2013 and December 2018. Outcome parameters obtained included duration of surgery, blood loss, complication and fistula rates. Data was analyzed using SPSS 21. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: Eighty four patients were included in the study; 36 were in the test group and 48 were in the control group. There was no significant difference in the age, weight and gender of the two groups. The duration of surgery was significantly shorter in the test group and fistula and complication rate was less.

Conclusions:This study has demonstrated that comparable, if not better results can be achieved in well selected patients with unilateral isolated cleft palate using only dissection along the margin of the cleft. This new technique reduces the duration of surgery and anaesthesia and may reduce blood loss and complications.



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Original Research Articles