A flap surgery is a procedure done to restore proper air flow during speech. Pharyngeal flap surgery is most commonly performed on patients born with a cleft palate or those suffering from dysarthria. Although the surgery can enhance the air flow and help restore speech, it is only done in the event that other treatment methods have proven unsuccessful. Eligibility is determined after speech therapy has failed, and if the patient is deemed to have a particularly fragile palate. Tulsa dental experts suggest that flap surgery is not for everybody, and may suggest other methods of restoration.
Although not commonly preformed, flap surgery has a high success rate. Children and adults afflicted by velopharyngeal insufficiency are known to experience speech improvements post-surgery. Flap surgery has also been known to reduce nasal turbulence and facial grimacing. Like other surgeries, the results will very depending on the patient. Many Tulsa dentists whom have experience with flap surgery have seen improvement in voice quality, improvement of speech, and less nasal turbulence. With a high success rate, candidacy for pharyngeal flap surgery still must be determined by a dental expert.
The highest success rates of flap surgery are seen in adolescent patients. Despite high success rate, there are several complications attributed to flap surgery. Common complications include the development of sleep apnea, snoring, and airway obstruction. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes one or more pauses or notably shallow breathing while asleep. The pauses last various lengths and can occur several times throughout the night. If sleep apnea does develop, there are many treatment options available. Airway obstruction can occur as the patient heals from the surgery, due to the development of scar tissue. Although the surgery has a respectable success rate, due to these possible complications many dentists will advise other treatments options first.